Foucault News

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

Pȩkala, T.
Discourse and “something more”
(2021) Art Inquiry, 23, pp. 11-28.

DOI: 10.26485/AI/2021/23/1
Open access

The starting point and pivot holding the article together is an attempt to explain what the enigmatic “something more” means as an expression of theorists’ expectations of discourse. The words that constitute the leitmotif, taken from Michel Foucault’s theory and repeated by Mieke Bal, perform the role of “miniature theory” in the text, in the meaning assigned to the concepts by the Dutch scholar. The author of the article tries to interpret their meanings in the context of the foregoing conceptions, and compares semiotic and phenomenological approaches. The research tool that she uses is Pierre Bourdieu’s theories of art rules and the art field as well as the proposals of contemporary German theorists: Andreas Reckwitz, Dieter Mersch and Stephanie Schmidt. Following Grzegorz Sztabinski, she recalls the problem of distinguishing theory from discourse and ponders the validity of this distinction, and the consequences of the proposition that discourses are only forms of expression for theory. Changes taking place in discourses are analyzed as the result of transformations in the late modern society, defined by Reckwitz as singularism. Guiding discourses towards “something more” than denoting the states of things changes their function and allows speaking of the “effect of truth”, “effect of meaning”, current “use of work”, performative power of concepts and embodiment of the language of art. Expectations of “something more” have always focused on the problem of identity and disproportion of heterogenic discourses. In the conclusion, the “something more” of discourse is shown as the contemporary form of metaphysical questions asked from the perspective of philosophy of finiteness. © 2021 Lodzkie Towarzystwo Naukowe. All rights reserved.

Author Keywords
Discourse; Effect of meaning; Effect of truth; Esthetics of “something more”; Figurality; Metaphor; Phenomenology; Semiotics; Singularism; Theory

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