Foucault and Genealogy
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Wed Feb 20 06:41:03 MST 2002
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By 'What happens is that there is no real objectivty, only subjectivity
filtered through the Subject (the bougeious individual), or some kind of
manifestation of the Subject, ex.- Power, Will, Discourse, etc.', do you mean
that social reality is thus understood by Foucault in terms of the subjective
consciousness historically determined by the effects of certain power relations?
Foucault seems to say that there is no other way of knowing anything other than
via the social consciousness of a particular historical subject within a
particular nexus of power effects? Similarly there is no way of resisting
anything other than from the perspective of the subject as conditioned by a
particualr mode of power?
I am unsure as to what relation Foucault believes actual concrete political
practices might have to their economic surroundings. Presumably Foucault would
say that the economic surroundings are as much coditioned by partiular power
effects and interests as the latter are conditioned by economic 'necessity'. How
would a marixist get round this sort of quandary which would indeed seem to
suggest that there is no point upon which to challenge a relatively global,
centralised, system of economic power which seems to persist throughout varying
political practices, seemingly affecting the latter according to the interests
it has in particular areas at particular times? Foucault, it seems, would reject
any notion, firstly, that there could be said to be an economic 'base' to
society, and secondly, that this economic base sublates and transcends the
particular politics it may put at its disposal.
Also, I am not sure that with Foucault there is a loss of ontology. It seesm to
me that Foucault appears to make 'Power' the constituting and conditioning
'Force' of historical knowledge and historical change. Power is metaphysically
stripped of its relatively conditioned nature and becomes the abstract ground
upon which to found any analysis of any form of knowledge or practise. It seesm
to occupy a transcendent position at any rate.
Anyway, if anyone could make sense of any of this stuff, I would be very
all the best,
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