foundationalism

Louis N Proyect lnp3 at columbia.edu
Mon Jan 23 13:52:00 MST 1995


Please excuse my ignorance, but "foundationalism" seems a little obscure
to me.

Unless it's the same term that I heard discussed this weekend at a
conference held at the Marxist school in NYC, in which case I'm all for it.

David Harvey, author of "The Postmodern Condition", gave a keynote
address and basically gave a traditional Marxist analysis of the current
political situation. The chairperson was one Joel Krieger, a professor at
Wellesley College, who used to be associated with Socialist Review.

Krieger took Harvey to task. His basic complaint was that Harvey saw
things through the prism of class and that this was insufficient for
understanding the current political situation. For example, according to
Krieger, the war in Bosnia eludes the category of class.

Mixed in with Krieger's critique of Harvey was a lot of dismissal of what
he called "foundationalism". I take this to mean a set of core beliefs
that have traditionally been associated with Marxism, such as the belief
that the class-struggle is the locomotive of history, etc., etc.

Is this the same kind of "foundationalism" that contributors to this list
have been hollering at?

By the way, Harvey stated that old-time, class-oriented Marxists like
himself are rather a rarity in the academic world. I presume from the
contributions to this list that he is correct.


Louis Proyect, Database Support Group, Columbia University

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