File spoon-archives/foucault.archive/foucault_1998/foucault.9809, message 45


Date: Mon, 07 Sep 1998 20:54:30 -0600
Subject: Re: Foucauldian examinations of The Market


>  It still seems to me that your quote is far from classifying
> Reich as "bourgeois ideology" in a way which would make it ironic to
> mention him on a Foucault list.

I think you'll see when you read it.  Foucault describes the deployment of
sexuality as a manifestation of bourgeois power.  The old order was based on
blood, and a hereditary right to power.  Sexuality didn't have at all the same
significance that it did later (and presently).  With the enlightenment,
capitalism, industrialization, etc., (I'm being very inexact), the
up-and-coming bourgeois needed some justification for their basically taking
over much of the world from the nobility and royalty.  Blood was out, as it
could only support the old regime of inherited power, so they settled on sex,
abstinence from which was complicit with the bourgeoisie values of hard work,
self-control, moderation, etc.  Hence, sexuality received a great deal of
attention.  In the quote, Foucault is pointing out why Reich's expected
political consequences did not follow when the sexual revolution occurred:
Reich was still operating within the discourse of the deployment.  It is the
deployment of sexuality as a topic for intense concern that is the basis for
bourgeois power, and not simply abstinence from sex. See the famous chapter
entitled "The Repressive Hypothesis", at the front.

> But let's poke this a bit.  Do you think, for example, that science

> evinces any sort of application of the work of any 19th century German
> philosopher?  Or, for that matter, of any 20th century Anglo-Saxon
> philosopher?  Or, to go back randomly, does science evince applications
> of Hume, or Plato?  Marx?  I guess Marx has been tried, in a manner of
> speaking, but that's because he was at the time a "state philosopher"
> of the state that tried to do science that way.  So I don't know about
> your criterion of effectiveness, how effective it is.

Well, actually, much of modern probability theory is based on Bayes and
LaPlace.  Of course, it's cliche to mention DesCartes' role in the development
of the scientific method.  Hume's empiricism is in fact embedded in modern
statistical analysis (i.e. the rule that covariance is not indicative of
causality).  Kant's is still the epistemological model for the sciences.  There
are plenty of examples, and its hard not to think, especially given all of the
rhetorical tropes at work in information technology advertising and literature,
that platonic idealism is not alive and well in it.  Take a look at Heidegger's
essay "The End of Philosophy and the Task of Thinking" in _Time and Being_.
It's very short, not very difficult, and very rewarding.  Modern science,
cybernetics in particular, is the most extreme possibility of Western
philosophy.  The question I am asking is, what would science be like if it were
a possibility of thinking, to use Heid's term, or the non-philosophy of our
French friends?  What would a feminist science look like, to quote Donna
Haraway?

Wynship West Hillier sonorous?  Too many plosives, dental consonants, and
front-of-the-mouth vowels.  For sonority, you've got to have m's, a's, o's,
u's, r's...  malgosia is a lot better.  You can really get your mouth around
it.



   

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