File spoon-archives/foucault.archive/foucault_2001/foucault.0108, message 29

Subject: Re: unconscious of knowledge
Date: Wed, 15 Aug 2001 19:57:58 

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<P>Few more comments.</P>
<P>[I am interested and intrigued by your distinction between "the level of the<BR>formation of subject and object", which you suggest is savoir and the realm<BR>of genealogy;]</P>
<P>By savoir (knowledge as different from a knowledge) Foucault means 'movement of knowledge' through which subject and object are formed, i.e a knowledge (connaissance) is formed, made possible. In that sense certainly savoir is the condition of the possibility of knowledge. As F puts it</P>
<P>"When I use the word 'knowledge (savoir), I do so in order to distinguish it from a knowledge (connaissance). The former is the process through which the subject finds himself modified by what he knows, or rather by the labor performed in order to know. It is what permits the modification of subject and the construction of object" (Remarks on Marx pp. 69-70).</P>
<P>The basis of savoir is what Foucault calls ' originory (originaire) experience', "an experience that might permit an alteration, a transformation, of relationship we have with ourselves and our culture universe: in a word, with our knowledge" (ibid. p. 37). The significance of this experience is 'transformation' and 'change', "an experience that changes us from always being the same, or from having the same kind of relationship with things and with others that we had before . . . ." (ibid. p. 41). </P>
<P>Now Genealogy is </P>
<P>"A historical reconstruction of how we have become what we are which acts as an immanent critique of what we are and which directed towards the practical achievement of human autonomy" (Owen Maturity and Modernity p. 221). A definition which is derived from What is Enlightenment and other works as NGH.</P>
<P>The same sense of relation between archaeology and genealogy is found in UP (pp. 11-12).</P>
<P>In AK Foucault defines savior in the similar manner as the conditions that are necessary 'for this or that enunciation to be formulated" (p. 15). But in AK Foucault confuses these conditions with discursive conditions, which is sort of foreclousre of the movement which is necessary for the formation of knowledge (connaissance).</P>
<P>[ and "the total set of relations that unite, at a given period,<BR>the discursive practices that give rise to epistemological figures,<BR>sciences, and possibly formalized systems", which is the episteme, and you<BR>suggest this is the level of archaeology, and relational ontology].</P>
<P>Archaeology on the other hand deals with 'discursive formation' which is a 'system of dispersion' whose unity is due to the rules that govenr the formulations of statements (Foucault later said that he was meaning not rules but internal regime of power and its effects circulating among statement). Archive is Foucault's term for the sum total of discursive formations that exists in a given civilisation (AK p. 130). </P>
<P>Now connaissance is:<BR>"the process which permits the multiplication of knowable objects, the development of their intelligibility, the understanding of their rationality, while the subject doing the investigation always remains the same" (Remarks on Marx p. 70). </P>
<P>Now if arcaeology deals with discursive formations, with rules that govern statements, internal regime of power concerning statements, and archives, do you think that it can be operating other than at the level of connaissance?  I think that it is the level of connaissance, because at the level of  savoir statements do not exist, how would we talk about rules governing statements. And one can not say that rule is provided by savoir nor one can equate the space provide by savoir for the existance of connaissance as equal to rules of formation of statements (cf. pp. 208-209 and p. 122). </P>
<P>[I am far from convinced however. I am uncertain that the level of the<BR>formation of connaissance is the realm of archaeology and the movement of<BR>savoir that of genealogy]. </P>
<P>May be I am wrong, but I think you are taking Foucault on his words and that might be a problem. I think it can be misleading to take AK on face value. As Foucault himself reformulates later on archaeology is concerned with form of rationality of practical systems while genealogy with their strategic (freedom) aspect.</P>
<P>[ Why then is Foucault concerned with the<BR>archaeology of knowledge [savoir]?]</P>
<P>I think this is because in AK Foucault is still not able to conceptualise adequately because the concept of genealogy is yet lacking. In AK Foucault is doing both Archaeology and Genealogy but he does not have two names so both things go under one name that is Archaeology. </P>
<P> [The formation of knowledge is what<BR>happens within a science or a savoir, it is the production of connaissance<BR>type knowledge.]</P>
<P>I have no problem with this statement, if you do not take formation as discursive formation.</P>
<P>[ But as for what allows that, that is the other level. I<BR>don't think that is the genealogical level - at least, not if that is<BR>distinguished from archaeology. It is the archaeological level, which<BR>relates through analysis of power to genealogy].</P>
<P>What allows what? Sure savoir is the condition of connaissance. But is this the same level as that of rules that govern the statements? I think that is the level of connaissance. We 'observe' particular science and compare particular sciences to arrive at the rules of discursive formations, right? If yes then is it (that particular science or sciences) the level of savior or connaissance?</P>
<P>[I still think this is Foucault's best summation of the difference and<BR>links:-</P>
<P>Archaeology looks at truth as "a system of ordered procedures for the<BR>production, regulation, distribution, circulation, and operation of<BR>noncs", whilst genealogy sees truth as "linked in a circular relation with<BR>systems of power which produce and sustain it, and to effects of power which<BR>it induces and which extends it" (Dits et ecrits Vol III, 160; Foucault<BR>Reader 74)].</P>
<P>It is an influential summation and the one also taken at face value by Habermas in his twelve lectures on Modernity. I am bit surprised that any one who regards genealogy and archaeology as so close related would buy this interpretation. I prefer the following one:</P>
<P>". . . criticism is not transcendental, and its goal is not that of making metaphysics possible: it is genealogical in its design and archaeological in its method. Archaeological and not transcendental in the sense that it will not seek to identify the universal structures of all knowledge or of all possible moral action, but will seek to treat the instances of discourse that articulate what we think, say, and do as so many historical events. And this critique will be genealogical in the sense that it will not deduce from the form of what we are what it is impossible for us to do and to know; but it will separate out, from the contingency that has made us what we are, the possibility of no longer being, doing, or thinking what we are, do or think. It is not seeking to make possible a metaphysics that has finally become a science; it is seeking to give new impetus, as far and wide as possible, to the undefined work of freedom" (FR p. 46).</P>
<P>[I would read the History of Sexuality series as archaeological as much as<BR>genealogical. I don't think that the distinction is valid]</P>
<P>I agree.</P>
<P>[ I worry that your<BR>characterisation of archaeology through the metaphor of the table buys into<BR>what Foucault was analysing, rather than how he was analysing].</P>
<P>But the very use of word metaphor imply that it is not just about what but also how. I suggest that it is more fruitful to see what he is actually doing for example in OT to know how he is doing it.</P>
<P>Thanks a lot for information about lectures. I think I know bit and pieces about first and last. But look forward to reading them eventually in complete. </P>
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