File spoon-archives/foucault.archive/foucault_1998/foucault.9810, message 57

Date: Mon, 26 Oct 1998 13:54:37 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Baudrillard's seduction

This is probably not that helpful, but anyway:  my offhand observation
would be that Foucault stopped responding to critics directly in the
early seventies--actually, the only two responses of his to critics I can
think of are the infamous Derrida piece and a venemous rebuttal to a
review (I think by Steiner, but I could very well be mistaken) of The
Order of Things.  I wonder if perhaps the nature of those exchanges did
not sit well with Foucault, and at the same time perhaps he realized that
there was some kind of personal, psychological limitation of his that
constrained him to react that way--and hence decided it might be best in
the future to keep his reactions to himself.  It's interesting to contrast
Foucault's comments on polemic from Remarks on Marx forward to the
polemical nature of some of his own writing ... it seems to be an urge
which he was always battling.  Not unlike most of the rest of us. :) At
any rate, I think Foucault might have shared the view on academic debate
that Deleuze expresses in Dialogues:  "Every time someone puts an
objection to me, I want to say, 'OK, OK, let's move on to something else.'
Objections have never contributed anything."  You unleash your ideas into
the world and either they can fend for themselves or they can't.


 ---Matthew A. King---Department of Philosophy---York University, Toronto---
  "Yes - Kilgore Trout is back again.  He could not make it on the outside.
  That is no disgrace.  A lot of good people can't make it on the outside."
 -----------------------------(Kurt Vonnegut)-------------------------------


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