Foucault News

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

Life Arts 7/3/2021, OEN, OpEdNews
Celebrating the Fourth of July 2021 (REVIEW ESSAY)
By Thomas Farrell

Now, in fairness to Foucault, he turns to the nineteenth-century German classicist and philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1901) in his inaugural lecture course (see the “Index of Names” [pages 292-293] for specific page references to Nietzsche) – a source that neither Lonergan nor Ong happens to advert to explicitly as Foucault does in his 1970-1971 lecture series.

For example, in Foucault’s lecture on December 9, 1970, he says, “Next week, I would like to show how Nietzsche was the first to release the desire to know [discussed by Aristotle] from the sovereignty of knowledge (connaissance) itself: to re-establish the distance and exteriority that Aristotle cancelled, a cancellation that has been maintained by all [Western] philosophy” (page 5).

In addition, Foucault says, “In order to fix the vocabulary, let us say that we will call knowledge-connaissance that system that allows desire and knowledge-savoir to be given a prior unity, reciprocal belonging, and co-naturalness. And we will call knowledge-savoir that which we have to drag from the interiority of knowledge-connassance in order to rediscover in it the object of a willing, the end of desire, the instrument of a domination, the stake of a struggle” (page 17).


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