By Roger Alan Deacon
Deacon, a pupil whose educational affiliations should not given, examines the consequences of the paintings of Michel Foucault, wondering no matter if and the way the fashionable force to give an explanation for the area in this sort of approach as to lead political motion and advertise innovative switch could be defended within the gentle of Foucault'
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Extra resources for Fabricating Foucault: rationalising the management of individuals
Human history and inventiveness has thus made available to us a wealth of instruments and approaches which, though undeniably context-speciﬁc, are potentially capable of helping to constitute “a certain point of view” which can assist both analysis and change. For example, it is no doubt much more and much less than a curious coincidence that Foucault’s call for ‘permanent criticism’ was preﬁgured in the early writings of that unabashed nineteenth century modernist who demanded “the reckless critique of all that exists” (Marx, in McLellan 1977: 36).
Foucault 1981f: 11). Can it be argued that the Western will to truth is truly arbitrary, historically speciﬁc, exclusive and violent? As Peter Dews has argued, the issue centres upon the sense in which a philosophical position which assumes the foundations of the classical forms of critique to be necessarily and oppressively identitarian can itself continue to perform a critical function (Dews 1987: xvi). Leaving aside for the moment that Foucault did not see critique as necessarily identitarian, and that he emphasised its productivity rather than its oppressiveness, one can respond to Dews’ main point by suggesting that any critique of reason cannot, but must, ‘perform a critical function’: it cannot actually critique or accurately represent the object of critique because in being identitarian it imposes its own conception which it then treats as an adequate representation, but it must critique, because it is only by (vainly) attempting to be critical that it is able to be identitarian.
Truths are illusions which one has forgotten are illusions, worn-out metaphors which have become powerless to affect 40 Fabricating Foucault: Rationalising the Management of Individuals the senses, coins which have their obverse effaced and are now no longer of account as coins, but merely as metal (Nietzsche, quoted in Stern 1979: 185-6; emphasis in the original). The very real, very powerful illusion that is truth has a history that demands to be told: as much because, in our confessional culture, it is always truth which is doing the telling, as because it is a task from which we in the present, “bound to the back of a tiger” (OT: 322), shrink only at our own peril.
Fabricating Foucault: rationalising the management of individuals by Roger Alan Deacon