John Searle on Foucault and the Obscurantism in French Philosophy
From the Open Culture site, July 1 2013
It is sometimes noted–typically with admiration–that France is a place where a philosopher can still be a celebrity. It sounds laudable. But celebrity culture can be corrosive, both to the culture at large and to the celebrities themselves. So it’s worth asking: What price have French philosophy and its devotees (on the European continent and elsewhere) paid for the glamour?
See also Foucault On Obscurantism: ‘They Made Me Do It!’ on the Critical Theory site
Now, as Open Culture notes, Foucault admitted to his friend John Searle that he intentionally complicated his writings to appease his French audience. Searle claims Foucault told him: “In France, you gotta have ten percent incomprehensible, otherwise people won’t think it’s deep–they won’t think you’re a profound thinker.”
Editorial comment. A discussion to be taken with a grain of salt perhaps. More contributions to that well-worn and highly problematic trope of the clarity of Anglo-Saxon and Analytic philosophy versus ‘continental’ obscurity.
Link via Philippe Sabot