Re: [Foucault-L] and Husserl?

There is a difference between
- a general influence transmitted by the philosophical texts and textbooks that were used in the Lycee and the ENS, and by the teachers and professors. Inbetween 1945 and 1970 all philosophy students on the Continent read a lot of phenomenology and they most often started doing phenomenology by reading Husserls early works (1900-1910) and studying his critique of scientism in psychology.
see for example in the interview of 1968 'Foucault answers Sartre' (Dits et Ecrits I, p. 667): 'I belong to a generation to whom the horizon of their reflexion was in a general way defined by Husserl and in a specific way by Sartre and more precisely Merleau Ponty...' (he does not mention Heidegger here)

- a specific influence which can be found in the use of Husserl's phenomenological method - for example putting inbetween brackets, analysis of intentionality, 'Wesensschau' - and/or of particular Husserlian arguments. I could not find such an influence in Foucault's works.

- and a detailed exposition, comment or critique of some Husserlian texts or arguments that is used in order to develop one's own thesis or theory.
I could find only two places where that happens:
1) in the introduction on Binswanger Foucault discusses Husserl's Logical Investigations including some later versions which are only in his manuscripts in order to explain the difference between 'index' (sign) and signification embedded in a living experience (in French: éxperience vécu) (see Dits et Ecrits I pp. 74-78). This is a to the point analysis in order to make clear he difference between a phenomenological and a psychoanalytic analysis of signification. Lateron in the introduction it is not used any more.
In the articles of 1957 on Psychology as a science, Husserl is only mentioned by the way and his anti-psychologism is not discussed

2) a general discussion of the role of Husserlian phenomenology in explaining the position of Man as a empirical-transcendental doublet in the modern episteme in The Order of Things, ch. X, sect. v.

That's all. In all other references to Husserl, he just is mentioned in a list of names.

machiel karskens

At 23:41 18-10-2010, you wrote:
Hello, I think it is difficult to answer the question without refering to Foucault's biography. The influence of Husserl's work on Foucault has certainly something to do with the fact that he worked as a psychologist for a time, before being the famous philosopher whe all know. Whe also know that he studied Merleau Ponty's work during his years at the ENS, and Merleau Ponty is a french phenomenologist who, with Sartre at the same time, was directly referring to Husserl's work. But, after that, Foucault's work on psychology before he ended his famous thesis on madness, made him interest into a form of psychoanalysis directly influenced by phenomenology and hermeneutics. For exemple, in 1954, he wrote a big introduction to Ludwig Binswanger's french traduction of *Traum und Existenz*. Binswanger psychoanalysis (Daseinsanalysis) was firstly inspired by Edmund Husserl's work, before he adopted a more Heideggerian terminology after 1929, after Sein und Zeit was published... This means that for sure, Foucault had an early contact with phenomenology (Husserl and Merleau Ponty), because of his interests into phsycology. But after the reading of Nietzsche (his "philosophical shock") and Heidegger (that he surprisingly never mention in his 1954 work on Binswanger!), it seems that Foucault became verry critical against the fundamental phenomenological principles, the transcendantal subject, cartesian subjectivity or kantian transcendantalism, as it seems that Foucault was taking Nietzsche's doubt verry seriously: there is something that is thinking, but are we sure that "I" is the thinker? But it is also like he was following Heidegger's early critic of metaphysics, for whom the modern subject, defined by the identity of "subjectum" and aristotle's "to hypokeimenon", is conceived as the central metaphysical principle that determined ontology and knowledge since Descartes. Maybe, another factor that influenced him against the phenomenological (or bergsonian) conception of subject is the influence of structuralism during the 60's, but that's another story... Cordially, Jeffrey Tallane 2010/10/18 <a.e.leeds@xxxxxxxxx> > 1. One line of transmission is through Cavailles and Canguilhem: > > Hyder, David, 2003. Foucault, Cavaillès, and Husserl on the Historical > Epistemology of the Sciences, Perspectives on Science 2003, vol. 11, > no. 1 > > Thompson, Kevin, 2008. HISTORICITY AND TRANSCENDENTALITY: FOUCAULT, > CAVAILLÃ?S, AND THE PHENOMENOLOGY OF THE CONCEPT, History and Theory 47 > (February 2008), 1-18 > > Webb, David(2003) 'Cavailles, Husserl and the historicity of science', > Angelaki, 8: 3, 59 ? 72 > > 2. But, I mean, its just absurd to think that any Frenchman writing > then (not to say that the situation is that different now) would not > have read and discussed huge quantities of Husserl. > > 3. One word: Heidegger. > > > > > > On Mon, Oct 18, 2010 at 6:29 PM, james <spatium@xxxxxxxxx> wrote: > > Now that we have assessed the influence of Bergson on Foucault, I have > > always wanted to know about Husserl's influence. Does anyone know any > > details? Jeffrey Tallane mentioned his name as influence, but what > > hard evidence is there outside the general phenomenological concern? > > > > James > > _______________________________________________ > > Foucault-L mailing list > > > > > > -- > Adam E. Leeds > Ph.D. Candidate > Department of Anthropology > University of Pennsylvania, and > Visiting Researcher > Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR) > Ð?оÑ?ква: +7-985-929-33-49 > US: 914.980.2970 > leeds@xxxxxxxxxxxxx > > _______________________________________________ > Foucault-L mailing list _______________________________________________ Foucault-L mailing list

Prof. Machiel Karskens
social and political philosophy
Faculty of Philosophy
Radboud University Nijmegen - The Netherlands

  • Re: [Foucault-L] and Husserl?
    • From: Jeffrey Tallane
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    [Foucault-L] and Husserl?, james
    Re: [Foucault-L] and Husserl?, a . e . leeds
    Re: [Foucault-L] and Husserl?, Jeffrey Tallane
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