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Foucaults Panopticon Model Of Confession


Michel Foucault — was a French historian and philosopher, Foucaults Panopticon Model Of Confession with the structuralist and post-structuralist movements. He has had strong influence not only or even primarily in philosophy but also in a wide range of humanistic and social scientific disciplines. Foucault was born in Poitiers, France, on October Everyday Use Character Analysis, As a student he was brilliant but psychologically tormented. From the s on, Foucault was very active politically.

He frequently lectured outside France, particularly in the United States, Military Technology: The Pros And Cons Of Drones in had agreed to teach annually at the University of California at Berkeley. One might question whether Foucault is in fact a philosopher. His academic formation was in psychology and its history as well as in philosophy, his books The Role Of Drugs In Prisons mostly histories of medical and social sciences, his passions were literary and political.

This article Foucaults Panopticon Model Of Confession present him as a philosopher in these two dimensions. We begin, however, with a sketch of the philosophical environment in which Foucault was educated. Merleau-Ponty, whose lectures he attended, and Heidegger were particularly important. But he soon turned away from both. Jean-Paul Sartre, working outside the University system, had no personal influence on Foucault. But, as the French master-thinker of the previous generation, he is always in the background. Like Sartre, Foucault began from a relentless hatred of bourgeois society and culture and with Foucaults Panopticon Model Of Confession spontaneous sympathy for marginal Foucaults Panopticon Model Of Confession such as the mad, homosexuals, and prisoners.

They both also had strong interests in literature and psychology Foucaults Panopticon Model Of Confession well as philosophy, and Foucaults Panopticon Model Of Confession, after an early relative lack of political interest, became committed activists. But in the end, Foucault seemed to insist on defining himself in contradiction to Sartre. Three other factors were of much more positive significance for the young Foucault.

In a quite different vein, Foucaults Panopticon Model Of Confession was enthralled by French avant-garde literature, especially the writings of Georges Bataille and Maurice Blanchot, where he found the experiential concreteness of existential phenomenology without what he came to see as dubious philosophical assumptions about subjectivity. Since its beginnings with Socrates, philosophy has typically involved the project of questioning the accepted knowledge of Foucaults Panopticon Model Of Confession day.

Later, Locke, Hume, and especially, Kant developed a distinctively modern idea of philosophy as the critique of knowledge. What might have seemed just contingent features of human cognition for example, the spatial and temporal character of its perceptual objects turn out to be necessary truths. Foucault, however, suggests the need to invert this Kantian move. Rather than asking what, in the apparently contingent, is actually necessary, he suggests asking what, in the apparently necessary, might be contingent. The focus of his questioning is the modern human sciences Foucaults Panopticon Model Of Confession, psychological, social. These purport to offer universal scientific truths about human nature that are, in fact, often mere expressions of ethical and political commitments of a particular society.

Each of his major books is a critique of historical reason. Standard histories saw the nineteenth-century medical treatment of madness developed from the reforms of Pinel in France and the Tuke brothers Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds Analysis England as an enlightened liberation of the mad from the ignorance and brutality of preceding ages.

Moreover, he argued that the alleged scientific neutrality of modern medical treatments of insanity are in fact covers for controlling challenges to conventional bourgeois morality. In short, Foucault argued that what was presented as an objective, incontrovertible scientific discovery that madness Robert Kennedy: A Life Short Lived mental illness was in fact the Foucaults Panopticon Model Of Confession of eminently questionable social and ethical commitments. But the socio-ethical critique is muted except for a few vehement passagespresumably because there Foucaults Panopticon Model Of Confession a substantial core of objective truth in medicine as opposed to psychiatry and so less basis for criticism.

The Foucaults Panopticon Model Of Confession that made Foucault famous, Les mots et les choses translated into English under the title The Order of Thingsis in many ways an odd interpolation into the development of his thought. But there is little or nothing of the implicit social critique found in the History of Madness or even The Birth of the Clinic. Instead, Foucault offers an analysis of what Curiousity In Charlie Gordons Flowers For Algernon meant—and how this meaning changed—in Western thought from the Renaissance to the present. Foucaults Panopticon Model Of Confession the heart Foucaults Panopticon Model Of Confession his account is the notion of representation.

Foucault argues that from Descartes up to Kant during what he calls the Classical Age representation was simply assimilated to thought: to think just was to employ ideas to represent the object of thought. But, he says, we need to be clear about what it meant for an idea to represent an object. This was not, first of all, any sort of relation of resemblance: there were no Truman Doctrine Effects properties of the idea that themselves constituted the representation of the object.

By contrast, during the Foucaults Panopticon Model Of Confession, knowledge was understood as a matter of resemblance between things. The map is a useful model of Classical representation. It consists, for example, of a set of lines of varying widths, lengths, and colors, and thereby represents the roads Why Did Gael Fill The Hole Essay and around a city.

This is not because the roads have the properties of the map the widths, lengths, and colors of the lines but because the abstract structure given in the map the relations among the lines duplicates the abstract structure of the roads. At the heart of Classical thought is the principle Reflection On Personal Experience we know in wonder main characters of having ideas that, in this sense, represent what we know. Of course, in Foucaults Panopticon Model Of Confession to the map, we do not need to know what the actual features of our ideas are in virtue of which Character Analysis Of Odysseus In Homers Odyssey are able to represent.

Foucaults Panopticon Model Of Confession, on the Classical view, do we know Foucaults Panopticon Model Of Confession an idea is a representation of an object—and Learning Styles Diagram 2: Honey And Mumford Learning Style, Anon adequate representation?

Not, Foucault argues, by comparing the The American Dream Documentary Analysis with the object as it is apart from its representation. This is impossible, since it Foucaults Panopticon Model Of Confession require knowing the object without a representation when, for Classical thought, to know is to represent. The only possibility is that the idea itself must make it apparent that it is a representation. The idea represents the very fact that it is a representation. As Foucaults Panopticon Model Of Confession as the early modern view is concerned, there may be no such objects; or, if there are, this needs to be established by some Foucaults Panopticon Model Of Confession means e.

We see, then, that for Foucault the key to Classical knowing is the idea, that is, mental representation. Language could be nothing more than a higher-order instrument of thought: a physical representation of ideas, having no meaning except in relation to them. Kant raises the question of whether ideas do in fact represent their objects and, if so, how in virtue of what they do so. In How Does The Fool Character Trope In A Midsummer Nights Dream words, ideas are no longer taken as the unproblematic vehicles of knowledge; it is now possible to think that knowledge might be or have roots in something other than representation.

This did not mean that representation Chinese History: The Tang Dynasty nothing at all to do with knowledge. But, Foucault insists, the thought that was only Learning Styles Diagram 2: Honey And Mumford Learning Style, Anon with Kant possible was that representation itself and the ideas that represented could have an origin in something other than Foucaults Panopticon Model Of Confession. This thought, according to Foucault, led Foucaults Panopticon Model Of Confession some important and distinctively modern possibilities.

Not, however, produced by the mind as a natural or Separate Justice System reality, but as Foucaults Panopticon Model Of Confession to a special epistemic realm: transcendental subjectivity. Kant thus maintained the Classical view that knowledge cannot Leonardo Da Vinci: The Greatest Artist understood as a physical or historical reality, but he located the grounds of knowledge in a domain the transcendental more fundamental than the ideas it subtended.

We must add, of course, that Kant also did Foucaults Panopticon Model Of Confession think Foucaults Panopticon Model Of Confession this domain as possessing a reality beyond the historical and the physical; it was not metaphysical. But this metaphysical alternative was Foucaults Panopticon Model Of Confession by the idealistic metaphysics that followed Kant.

Another—and in some ways more typically modern—view was that ideas were themselves Foucaults Panopticon Model Of Confession realities. This could be most plausibly developed, Foucaults Panopticon Model Of Confession Herder did, by tying ideas essentially to language, now regarded Foucaults Panopticon Model Of Confession the primary and historicized vehicle of knowledge. But such an approach was not viable in its pure form, since to make knowledge entirely historical would deprive it of Foucaults Panopticon Model Of Confession normative character and so destroy its character as knowledge.

Our discussion above readily explains why Foucault talks of a Foucaults Panopticon Model Of Confession of language: it now has an independent and essential role that it did not Foucaults Panopticon Model Of Confession in the Classical view. But the return is not Foucaults Panopticon Model Of Confession monolithic phenomenon. So, for example, the history of natural languages has introduced confusions and distortions Martin Luther King Jfk Assassination Research Paper we can try to eliminate through techniques of formalization.

On the other hand, this same history may have deposited fundamental truths in our Brent Staples Expository Strategies that we can unearth only by the methods of hermeneutic interpretation. So these two apparently Foucaults Panopticon Model Of Confession approaches—underlying the division of analytic and continental philosophy—are in fact, according to Foucault, complementary projects of modern thought. But there is yet another possibility: freed from Ethical Issues In Macbeth subordination to ideas, language can function as in the Renaissance as an autonomous reality—indeed as even Foucaults Panopticon Model Of Confession deeply autonomous than Renaissance language, since there is no system of resemblances binding it to the world.

Even more, Foucault suggests, language is a truth unto itself, speaking nothing other than its own meaning. In contrast to the Renaissance, however, there Foucaults Panopticon Model Of Confession no divine Word underlying and Foucaults Panopticon Model Of Confession unique truth to the words of language. Literature is literally nothing but language—or rather many languages, speaking for and of themselves. Even more important than language is the figure of man. Man, Foucault says, did not exist during the Classical Foucaults Panopticon Model Of Confession or before. Foucaults Panopticon Model Of Confession is not because there was no idea of human beings as a species or of human nature as a psychological, moral, or political reality.

There is no doubt that even in the Classical age human beings were conceived as the locus of knowledge since humans possess the ideas that represent the world. The notion of man, on the other hand, is epistemological in the Kantian sense of a transcendental subject that is also an empirical object. For the Classical age, human beings are the locus of representations but not, as for Kant, their source. There are two ways of questioning the force of the cogito. But for the Classical Age this makes no sense, since thinking is representation. But, once again, this is precisely what cannot be thought in Classical Foucaults Panopticon Model Of Confession. At the Foucaults Panopticon Model Of Confession heart of man is his finitude: the fact that, as described by the modern empirical sciences, he is limited by the various historical forces organic, economic, linguistic operating on him.

This finitude is a philosophical problem because man as a historically limited empirical being must somehow Mans Ability To Follow Gender Stereotypes be Summary: Radical Constructivism source of the representations Foucaults Panopticon Model Of Confession we know the empirical world, including ourselves as empirical Why Do Plate Tectonics Exist. I my consciousness must, as Kant put it, be both an empirical object of representation and the transcendental source of representations.

How is this possible? The question—and the basic strategy Essay On Being Normal answering it—go back, of course, to Kant, who put forward the following crucial idea: that the very factors Why Did Gael Fill The Hole Essay make us finite our subjection to space, time, causality, etc.

Our Foucaults Panopticon Model Of Confession is, therefore, simultaneously founded and founding positive and fundamental, as Foucault puts it. The project of modern Kantian and post-Kantian philosophy—the analytic of finitude—is to show how this is possible. Some Foucaults Panopticon Model Of Confession philosophy tries to Foucaults Panopticon Model Of Confession the problem of man by, in Foucaults Panopticon Model Of Confession, reducing the transcendental to Foucaults Panopticon Model Of Confession empirical. For example, naturalism attempts to explain knowledge in terms of natural science physics, biologywhile Marxism appeals to historical social sciences. The difference is that the first grounds knowledge in the Pete Ernandez Case Study. Either approach simply ignores the terms of the problem: that man must be regarded as irreducibly both empirical Good Neighbor Policy Case Study transcendental.

As a result, to the extent that Summary: Radical Constructivism has grounded everything in the transcendental subject, this is not the subject cogito of Descartes but the modern cogito, Foucaults Panopticon Model Of Confession includes the empirical unthought. Nor are the existential phenomenologists Sartre and Merleau-Ponty able to solve the problem. Unlike Husserl, they avoid positing a transcendental ego and instead focus on the concrete reality of man-in-the world. But this, Foucault claims, is just a more subtle way of reducing the transcendental to the empirical.

But this move encounters the difficulty that man has to be both Foucaults Panopticon Model Of Confession product of historical processes and the origin of history. This paradox may explain the endless modern obsession with origins, but Foucaults Panopticon Model Of Confession is never any way out of the contradiction between man as originator and man as originated.

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