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Gutting on Foucault (Intro to The Cambridge Companion to Foucault): No unifying theme can make sense of Fs work as a whole, although

h the demand for interpretation that his work makes encourages the search for such a theme (1). His work is fragmentary, ad hoc and incomplete (2); each work is determined by concerns and approaches specific to it. There is no progression. Tempted, though, by the thought that we can map two dimensions to his work: first, he is a philosophical historian who developed a series of complimentary methodsan archaeology of discourse (in Hist Mad, The Birth of the Clinic, The order of things and The Archaeology of Know), a genealogy of power relations (Disc & Pun, The history of sexuality 1) and a problematization of ethics (The use of pleasure and The care of the self). The second dimension makes him a historicist philosopher offering successively deeper and complementary theories of knowledge, power and the self. Together these make for a tempting overall interpretation of F as offering a comprehensive understanding of human reality underpinned by new methods of historical analysis. He instances Dreyfus and Rabinows who see F as offering an interpretive analytics, (an analysis of the sources and legitimacy of our concepts interpreted by the historically given set of practices that express them) that is the most powerful (if not ahistorical) instrument of cultual analysis on offer. This wont do, however: Foucaults distinctive and most valued characteristics are his specificity and his marginality. The strength of each of his works is undermined if one tries to force all of them into an embracing and harmonising overall framework. F himself hardly ever refers to his own earlier works, even when he is returning to a topic hes dealt with earlier. He wants to show us liberating alternatives to specific realms of inevitabilityin psychiatry, medicine, the social sciences, for example. He wants to help us save ourselves (4). Foucault fights guerilla campaigns, construct[ing] theories and methods subordinated to the tactical needs of the particular analysis at hand (4).

Foucault is not offering us a reconstructed or even a new discipline: he is trying to alert us to and to move us away from the dangers of disciplines, and the apparently necessary truths they incline us to commit to.

(The masked philosopher is an anonymous interview in which F describes his dream that books are no longer subjected to totalizing judgementsones that would sovereign or dressed in red [4].)

On the other hand, Foucault does offer synoptic characterisations of his works (even if they vary as much as his works). a) in 1969 all his previous works were trying to sketch the approach to the analysis of discursive formations that he offers in the Arch of know; b) in 1977 he sees himself as always having been interested in power; c) by 1982, it is not power, but the subject, which is the general theme of my research (4). [Of course, its not hard to see ways in which these three claims can be read as mutually consistenteven supporting.]

Also, G presents textual evidence that when he wrote AK F was tempted to see himself as offering a new discipline (5). Overall, it is best to see him as like a skilled artesan, who produced a number of outstanding intellectual objects under the stimulus of specific circumstances. By looking thus, we can see that he produces three broad sorts: histories, theories and myths (6). And G goes on to characterise each of these sorts.

The histories are driven by specificities and it is only in retrospect that these are idealised as coming in the archaeological v the genealogical forms. G proposes tracking them along four dimensions: the history of ideas, of concepts, of the present and of experience. * Although he disdains conventional history of ideas, F does quite a bit of it in his histories (7). * Yet Canguilhems history of concepts is central to F. Canguilhem insists on the distinction between the concepts that interpret scientific data and the theories that explain them, whereas Anglophones (Kuhn as much as Hempel) see theories as interpretations of data, which, therefore, define the concepts in terms of which the data are understood (7; he gives some egs pp7-8). [V interesting and links up with lots of important questions {see, especially, the discussion of Cuvier v

Lamarck as developing the idea at the heart of Darwins descent with modification; one should consult Hacking, here}, but it seems obvious that concept v theory of x wont do: one needs, at least, to consider concept v conception v theory of x.] Yet F also extended Cs methods: the latter saw concepts and disciplines as tied together [through the history of the discipline in which theoretical alternatives compete with one another], but F argues that apparently v different disciplines can have similar basic concepts, so that the various disciplines of one era can have more in common than each has with its successor discipline of the subsequent era. F holds that second orderphilosophicalconcepts held in common (representation, man, resemblance) are conditions of possibility of first order concepts and it is these that form the basis of the episteme, that system of concepts that defines knowledge the intellectual subconscious for a given intellectual era (8-9). [Very Durkheimian, in fact.] This enables the historian to define a discipline in terms other than those in which it defines itself. This archaeological approach really does contrast with std hist of ideas, with its emphasis on thinkers and their works and the influences upon one another. It allows F to construct a space, defined by a system of rules more fundamental than the assertions of individuals thinking in the space the study of which is usually thought to be most important, but which F dismisses as doxology (10). F also offers us histories of the present, notwithstanding the fact that by definition history is concerned with the past. F begins with a diagnosis that something is wrong in current circumstancessomething intolerableand then sets about trying to discover how it got to be so: to use an understanding of the past to understand something that is intolerable in the present (10): in short, to come up with an aetiology. G holds that this is not so unusual in historians, although the way F stresses this aspect of his work is, but points out that whereas they want to show how, given all the historical causes in operation, the present was inevitbale, F wishes to stress how contingent and therefore surpassable our present was. How could we do anything but put lunatics into asylums? Etc. F wants to show that the processes leading to our present practices and institutions

were by no means inevitable (10). [Evitability v inevitabilitynecessity v contingency even more soa trouble/muddle inducing opposition: cf determined v predetermined.] He wants to stress the social construction, and hence historicity, of our conceptions of, for example, madness, and their lack of privileged access to the truth of madness (11). [All this makes clear why G elsewhere {the SEP article: section three} says that F reverses Kants move of showing the necessity in the apparently contingent, by showing the contingent in the apparently necessary. {A formulation which, like those beautiful, voluptuous drag queens, is also nicely decked out to sow confusion and heartache.}] As for madness so with man, a concept that only came into existence after Kant distinguished thought from representation, by showing that representation could be treated as just one form of thought (12). [Is this clear? I suspect not, but see Gs SEP article.] F held that the concept of man as both finite, according to his representation in the sciences, yet also the source of representations (as both the source of the world and an object in the world) is a failure, for it cannot be made coherent. Counter-sciences, like anthropology and psychoanalysis. * The history of the present is one definition of genealogy: this represents the effort to question the necessity of our dominant categories and procedures (12). Foucault intended the term "genealogy" to evoke Nietzsche's genealogy of morals, particularly with its suggestion of complex, mundane, inglorious origins -- in no way part of any grand scheme of progressive history. The point of a genealogical analysis is to show that a given system of thought (itself uncovered in its essential structures by archaeology, which therefore remains part of Foucault's historiography) was the result of contingent turns of history, not the outcome of rationally inevitable trends. (SEP article.) * The history of experience was a notion F used at different points to characterise his histories (Hist of mad; The use of pleasure, for example); but he use it in different sensessometimes to refer to what might be available to an abstract, anonymous subject at a given point, and at others to refer to individual persons

(although these are always situated in fields of knowledge and systems of norms the objects uncovered by archaeology and genealogy). These dimensionssome constant, others not, depending on the object of enquiry can chart Fs histories, G claims (13-14). And just what criteria of assessment one should apply to his works varies with the relevance of each of these dimensions to the work in question (15). It would be wrong to judge a history of the present (the history of something he finds intolerable) in the same terms as an archaeological history of a human science. But every one of his historical claims needs to be justified on the basis of some set of facts accessible to standard historiography [lest his] claims be either gratuitous or not really historical (16). G then turns to Fs theories: he sees him as an impressive theoretician, but theory is not his central concern. He builds temporary scaffoldings for particular analytical purposes (and is happy to abandon them to whomever once he has finished the project: 16-20). * In Ord of things and Arch of Know (published only three years apart), for example, F uses two very different theories of language (a Heideggerian historical ontology in the former, and a structuralist theory in the latter), which G sees as a matter of Fs using different intellectual tools to achieve the very different aims of the two works (eschatological assessment based on what the past reveals versus a methodological concern to establish a general approach to the history of thought). G says [in an interesting argument] that F need not be antirealist about theories, nor feel he has phil grounds for rejecting the idea of a true theory, but that he is concerned about values theories may have quite apart from questions about their ultimate truth (19). [NB. Parts here relevant to discussion of Sahlins muddles about structuralist history.] * F, then is nonrealist about theories (19), an insight that G feels helps make sense of Fs much discussed views of power (as in Hist of sex). For example, his reversal of Clauswitzs aphorism about war as politics by another means is a gross over-simplification if one is wanting to understand Western history (19). F, though, wants to produce a different conception of power through the course of

the detailed analysis of the history of modern sexuality: and if that is illuminated by the non-standard approach to power, then its introduction will have been amply justified (20). Foucaults myths are no less important than the scholarship and brilliant theorising to the success of his books. These deeply emotional themes take the form of monsters [and their victims?] and heroes (20). G gives many examples, but says the monsters are all manifestations of the grand bogeyman of French intellectuals since Flaubert: bourgeois society (21). The myths give his work much of their power and intensity, but also make him insensitive to nuance in that which he despises. G discusses Fs concern with transgression and intensity (22-3) and then notes how, by Disc and punish his heroes are no longer the great transgressive artists but those fighting and suffering on the margins of ordinary Western life (24). * But in his last two books, the unexpectedly different studies on Greek and Roman sexuality (The use of pleasure and The care of the self), Fs style and tone abruptly change. There we get a cool exploration of alternative aesthetic forms of human existence, [which indicate] a calm humanity not found in his previous work (24). It is not possible to know what this meant or what it might have led to, G avers. Flynn on Fs mapping of history (Chap 1) All Fs works are histories of a sort: archaeologies, genealogies or (the last two books) problematizations. No conflict here; genealogies make explicit what was implicit in archaeologies, just as problematizations make explicit what was implicit in boththe issue of truth and subjectivity (28). Flynn wants to consider these three forms and then say what is distinctive about Fs approach to history, which he thinks inheres in Fs nominalism, his approach to the historical event, his spatialization of Reason and his conception of problematization: these themes serve to critique, respectively, Platonists, historians of culture, dialecticians and traditional historians (of the battles-andtreaties variety).

Fs three archaeologies (of madness, clinical medicine and the human sciences) examine the systems that establish statements as events (with their own conditions and domain of appearance) and as things (with their own possibility and field of use) (AK: 128). These statements represent the discourses that condition what counts as knowledge in a particular period (29). These statements, though, are not langue [how could they be?]; rather they are forms of practice, and they represent the archive [consider the etymology] that in a given period constitutes the historical a priori (29).

Flynn suggests that F views discourses in the same way Witt viewed languge gamespreconceptual, anonymous, socially sanctioned body of rules that govern ones manner of perceiving, judging, imagining and acting; these form the background of intelligibility to actions (30). They do so by defining what is to be done (and rationalise it with rules and norms) and they render true/false discourse possiblethey are judicative and veridicative. (So power/knowledge couple is set up is here and the later focus on it is merely an elaboration.)

So the archive is the locus of the rules and prior practices forming the conditions of inclusion or exclusion that enable certain practices and prevent others from being accepted as scientific or moral, or whatever other social rubric may be in use at a particular epoch (30). Different epochs, different archives; and the practices that they comprise are not deduced but discovered; they are positivities to be encountered rather than texts or documents to be interpreted (30). This positivism he never abandoned.

His early archaeologies are of borderline sciences, where epistemic breaks suddenly make new disciplines appear. The post factum necessity that these breaks assume is misleading: they could not have been predicted beforehand and they involve chance events; he wantedeven at this stageto make chance a category in the production events (AK:231)an ambition that becomes more important with the genealogies. [Sahlins and his structure of the conjuncture is similarly struggling with chance and necessityhe even mentions Monod, I think; he and F both misconstrue the distinction as an opposition, as do the legions of current writers who fetishize contingency.]

F gives a special termepistemeto those aspects of the archive that constitute the veridicative function of a scientific practice. It was the way this and cognate terms were used in Fs early work that led readers to see him as a structuralist, especially as he too wrote against subjectivist/humanist thought. Flynn, though, says that his nominalism, positivism and his Nietzschean inclinations all make him a post-structuralist.

The four works of the archaeological period show a curious unity-withindiversity in addrssing practices that make the exclusions needed to gain the honorific science and revealing a sense of the unspoken and unspeakable relationships between such apparently disjointed areas as clinical medicine, medicalization of madness and the scientific status of various social inquiries which are pronounced to have more in common with each other than with their presumed precursors in traditional historical accounts (31).

Bachelards notion of an epistemic break is important to the archaeological picture: the world is perceived in different ways either side of such a breaknew objects for investigation come into being and others fall away (the brain or a corpse were different objects before and after the end of the Classical Age [clouds of confusion condensed into a drop]). [Note the Whorfian/Saussurean tenor of this, but its a mistake to assimilate F to these {just as its a mistake to associate Whorf and Saussure, except in so far as they appeal to a certain simple relativism}. His is still a processual rather than a structural model.]