Re: [Foucault-L] and Husserl?

This is all very helpful.

I have read the material relating to the indirect influence of
Cavaillès, and some of it clarifies what is at stake in Foucault's
early work, specifically his archaeological method. I think more work
probably needs to be done in this area, as Cavaillès' work emphasizes
the question of logic in Husserl and its relation to mathematics, and
is quite dense by most standards (consider that both Bachelard and
Canguilhem were in a sense were apologetic for the difficulty of his
work, while also calling for readers who might engage it on its own
level). It is here that I sense something important could be said
about Foucault's work: in regard to the question of method as it was
handed down to him through a critical view of phenomenology as
archaeology (something that Husserl himself suggested). I agree that
it is Foucault's reading of Nietzsche, and subsequent
problematizations of experience through its exposure to a limit that
is not located in the subject or even in the individual, that is
responsible for a certain Foucauldian shift away from phenomenology

Having said that, it is not at all clear to me how a Husserlian
"phenomenological archaeology," inflected with the problem of
limit-experiences that we encounter in Nietzsche, Bataille, Blanchot,
etc. opens onto a specifically Foucauldian method. The results of
this encounter are plain enough, but what concerns Foucault in a
different way that leads to something like the Archaeology of
Knowledge (and precisely *not* The Order of Things)? I get the sense
that there is a problem of the non-phenomenological concretion of
various logics (in their variety) that occupies his thought. Possibly
as a result of his relationship with the work of Althusser.

Any thoughts?


On Tue, Oct 19, 2010 at 5:15 PM, Jeffrey Tallane <linactuel@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Hello,
> I found an interesting paper where the author handels the problem of
> Foucault's early phenomenological influence, but it is written in french.
> Philippe Sabot « L'expérience, le savoir et l'histoire dans les premiers
> écrits de Michel Foucault », *Archives de Philosophie* 2/2006 (Tome 69),
> p. 285-303.
> URL :
> The author seems to present the interesting hypothesis that, on one side, in
> his relations with phenomenology, early Foucault was more directly
> influenced by Maurice Merleau Ponty (who also did a sort of "archeology")
> than Husserl's transcendantal phenomenology. But on the other side, whi know
> that Foucault was also influenced by Canguilhem, Cavailles, Bachelard who
> were more concerned with the problem of "knowledge" than "experience". And
> it could be possible that Foucault's early methodology was build on an
> intense debate with the phenomenological tradition regarding the difficult
> problem of "experience", leading to a tension between a phenomenological
> concept of a "lived experience" and the question of "limit experiences" as a
> critical test in the field of knowledge, on which he could have matured the
> archeological methodology.* Very *Interesting!
> Something not mentienned in the article is the big influence of George
> Bataille and Sade on Foucault. Those kind of subversive thinkers who always
> focused on those critical or limit experiences in their writings...
> Cordially
> Jeffrey Tallane
> 2010/10/19 M. Karskens <mkarskens@xxxxxxxxxx>
>> 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.
>> yours
>> 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,
>> >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) > ÐœÐ¾Ñ ÐºÐ²Ð°:
>> >+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
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  • Re: [Foucault-L] and Husserl?
    • From: David McInerney
  • Replies
    [Foucault-L] and Husserl?, james
    Re: [Foucault-L] and Husserl?, a . e . leeds
    Re: [Foucault-L] and Husserl?, Jeffrey Tallane
    Re: [Foucault-L] and Husserl?, M. Karskens
    Re: [Foucault-L] and Husserl?, Jeffrey Tallane
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