File spoon-archives/foucault.archive/foucault_2001/foucault.0111, message 39

Date: Sun, 18 Nov 2001 21:09:26 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: Archaeology/Genealogy

I think that any potential for conflict between
Foucault and "theory" can be put into perspective by
several interviews, especially his conversation with
Deleuze ("Intellectuals and Power") in _Language,
Counter-Memory, Practice_ where Deleuze says that
theories should be used like tools in a toolbox; if a
theory does not work for you, discard it and find one
that does. Foucault agrees, and here we can see the
fundamental issue for Foucault: application. That is,
if a theory is not working, or asks you to delay
something important to you until a latter date, or
until a "revolution" has been accomplished, than that
theory is probably useless. 
Foucault and Deleuze both seem to agree that the work
for intellectuals today is not to guide or to stand
outside a struggle and watch, but to, as Foucault
notes in a later interview "pull ears," or make people
pay attention to issues that are important to you.
"Theory" should be directly applicable, and should not
block one's resistance to dominant power structures. 
I haven't studied archaeology enough, so I can only
comment on Foucault's views on theory for now.

- Greg

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