Foucault News

News and resources on French thinker Michel Foucault (1926-1984)

Gordon Hull, Parrhesia (Part 3): On Heidegger, New APPS: Art, Politics, Philosophy, Science, 30 March 2015

Unlike Derrida, with whom he had frequent, highly public polemics, Foucault says relatively little about Heidegger.  Much of that is incidental: in a 1983 interview, for example, while talking about the postwar influence of Sartre, he notes parenthetically that “the roots of Sartre, after all, are Husserl and Heidegger, who were hardly public dancers” (Aesthetics, 452).  In his 1982 lecture on the “Political Technology of Individuals,” Heidegger’s name shows up in a list of those who are in the “field of the historical reflection on ourselves” (Power, 402).  But, in a late interview, he says that “my entire philosophical development was determined by my reading of Heidegger” (see the discussion here).  He makes a comparable remark in one of the Hermeneutics of the Subject lectures; in response to a question, he names Heidegger and Lacan as the two 20c thinkers who have dealt with the subject and truth, and says that “I have tried to reflect on all this from the side of Heidegger and starting from Heidegger” (p. 189).  What are we to make of this?

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