File spoon-archives/foucault.archive/foucault_2000/foucault.0007, message 14

Date: Fri, 21 Jul 2000 13:30:27 +1000
Subject: Re: foucault/cultural unconscious?

Foucault did talk about the unconscious in The Order of Things, but in
reference to a positive scientific unconscious that eludes typical (French)
philosophy of science.

'3. I did not operate, therefore at the level that is usually that of the
historian of science -- I should say at the two levels that are usually
his.  For, on the one hand, the history of science traces the progress of
discoveries, the formulation of problems, and the clash of controversy; it
also analyses theories in their internal economy; in short, it describes
the processes and products of the scientific unconsciousness.  But, on the
other hand, it tries to restore what eluded that consciousness: the
influences that affected it, the implicit philosophies that were subjascent
to it, the unformulated thematics, the unseen obstacles; it describes the
unconscious of science.  This unconscious is always the the negative of
science -- that which resists it, deflects it, or disturbs it.  What I
would like to do, however, is to reveal a positive unconscious of
knowledge: a level that eludes the consciousness of the scientist and yet
is part of scientific discourse, instead of disputing its validity and
seeking to diminish its scientific nature.' Foreword to the English
Edition, pxi.

Bye, Shaun

Shaun Rawolle
Doctoral Candidate

Graduate School of Education
Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences
The University of Queensland

Phone:   07 3365 6508


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