Re: [Foucault-L] Foucault and "human nature"

I agree
I dont know if Foucault and Chomsky were even talking about the same thing
regarding human nature. But its been framed as such that most articles write
of Foucault as being critical of the concept of human nature. He probably
was but I don't see that as a rejection of universal behaviors or of a
thinking subject.

I think when people ask whether Foucault "rejected human nature", I think
they're wondering about the kind of human nature people talk about when they
say "CIA agents have an insight into human nature and how people think" or
"communism is incompatible with human nature", or "It's human nature to do
this or that".

On Tue, Mar 9, 2010 at 4:31 AM, M. Karskens <mkarskens@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> Foucault's work on = theory of human nature is:
> his work on mortality (death in life, not death against life) (see
> Birth of the Clinic and the sections on the analytic of finitude in
> The Order of Things (ch. IX-iii)
> + his work on alterity see everywhere in his works
> and of course his work on bodies, on transgression, and how men turn
> themselves into subjects and so on.
> The discussion with Chomsky was unluckily framed by the Dutch
> presentator as a discussion on Human Nature
> yours
> machiel karskens
> At 22:25 5-3-2010, you wrote:
> >On 06/03/2010, at 7:41 AM, Edward Comstock wrote:
> >
> > > It also seems to me that even what we call human nature or look for is
> > > going to change based on different knowledge practices, such that the
> > > question can only be answered within given systems of knowledge.
> > > Foucault,
> > > after all, for instance, believed that modern medicine presented valid
> > > abstractions against which we could gain usefull knowedges. But I
> > > dont'
> > > take this to mean that he believes modern medicine to be "true" in the
> > > absolute sense.
> > >
> >
> >
> >This seems similar to Althusser's attempts to distinguish between
> >discourses in terms of the 'adequacy' of their 'grasp' of the
> >material world, a rather tricky notion in that idealist discourses
> >such as empiricism always attempt to exploit it. I'm not sure how
> >one avoids it though, unless one accepts the extreme relativism that
> >would assert that the phlogiston theory is equally valid way of
> >looking at the generation of heat as thermodynamics. It is clear
> >that one gives us a more adequate grasp of material reality, but if
> >one attempts to 'go around' discourse to find a way to see whether it
> >corresponds to something outside of itself then, whoops, there we are
> >back with the 'subject of knowledge' etc etc.
> >
> >_______________________________________________
> >Foucault-L mailing list
> Prof. Machiel Karskens
> social and political philosophy
> Faculty of Philosophy
> Radboud University Nijmegen - The Netherlands
> _______________________________________________
> Foucault-L mailing list

Chetan Vemuri
West Des Moines, IA
"You say you want a Revolution! Well you know, we all want to change the

Re: [Foucault-L] foucault and "human nature", Matt Wootton
Re: [Foucault-L] foucault and "human nature", Thomas Lord
Re: [Foucault-L] Foucault and "human nature", Edward Comstock
Re: [Foucault-L] Foucault and "human nature", David McInerney
Re: [Foucault-L] Foucault and "human nature", M. Karskens
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