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[Xmca-l] Re: Foucault

I have the flu and wish I could continue the conversation, but I have been in bed for the past 3 days...anyways, the climate change issue I think is a force that will impact how we go about recursively organizing and reproducing our being in the world.  If we fail to change our culture, we die!

Dr. Paul C. Mocombe
The Mocombeian Foundation, Inc.

<div>-------- Original message --------</div><div>From: Martin John Packer <mpacker@uniandes.edu.co> </div><div>Date:09/18/2014  12:58 PM  (GMT-05:00) </div><div>To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu> </div><div>Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Foucault </div><div>
</div>I was simply responding to Paul M.'s (rhetorical?) question as to whether there might be a state of nature to which we could return that would be outside culture. I said that this is not possible for homo sapiens - we need culture to survive. Michael G. then suggested that if we can't step outside culture we cannot critique it. I replied again in the negative, and made a passing reference to Foucault who engaged in research that was critical of culture from inside: one of his ideas was to work with marginalized groups to explore ways of living that the mainstream has ignored. Larry then suggested that Foucault was following Merleau-Ponty's lead, and Phillip responded that Foucault was more influenced by Hyppolite. I countered by suggesting that Foucault's research program - exploring what he called "the historical ontology of ourselves" - in other words, how we are constituted historically (and culturally) as specific kinds of person - was at least consistent with the interests of Merleau-Ponty and Sartre.

Phew! What a tangled web we weave.


On Sep 18, 2014, at 11:35 AM, Greg Thompson <greg.a.thompson@gmail.com> wrote:

> I thought it was Martin who had mentioned Foucault's "historical ontology
> of ourselves"?
> I'd love to hear more too (note this is where Martin's book The Science of
> Qualitative Research leaves off. I'd love to hear the argument enlivened
> once again).
> Martin?
> -greg
> On Thu, Sep 18, 2014 at 9:25 AM, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> wrote:
>> My apologies if my "chaining" off your comment about cocktail parties
>> distracted from the main point of the ongoing discussion, Phillip.
>> Could you say more about what an historical ontology of oneself means? I
>> can understand the truth of the idea that In any interaction with others,
>> whether at a cocktail party or in an academic discussion group, one is
>> creating one's own history and that an autobiography is a self history from
>> ego's point of view. If one theorizes, then theorizing is a mode of
>> activity/experience that becomes the material of autobiography.
>> I am still back on David's earlier claim that cultural historical
>> approaches to understanding human development do not view data as ways of
>> testing/evaluating/improving theory. I may have gotten confused by thinking
>> that the discussion on Foucault, Merleau-P, et. Were part of that
>> discussion. A lot swirling around at once.
>> A pathway out of the thicket would be gratefully received.
>> Mike
>> On Tuesday, September 16, 2014, White, Phillip <Phillip.White@ucdenver.edu
>> wrote:
>>> as you write, Martin, yes, they had similar descriptions of their work
>>> "Foucault came to describe his work overall as a "historical ontology of
>>> ourselves." Certainly both Sartre and Merleau-Ponty were philosophers on
>>> ontology, and of history."
>>> the difference is, i believe, that Foucault identified with those peoples
>>> who have been marginalized: prisoners, those deemed mentally ill, and
>>> homosexuals.  he said that his writings were autobiography.  and i've
>> come
>>> to understand my own work as a way of autobiography.  i've begun to think
>>> of theory as a way of autobiography.
>>> i believe that i recognize a great deal of autobiography performed here
>> on
>>> xmca - just as one sees autobiography performed at a cocktail party.
>>> (that's a great metaphor!)
>>> p
>> --
>> Development and Evolution are both ... "processes of construction and re-
>> construction in which heterogeneous resources are contingently but more or
>> less reliably reassembled for each life cycle." [Oyama, Griffiths, and
>> Gray, 2001]
> -- 
> Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
> Assistant Professor
> Department of Anthropology
> 882 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
> Brigham Young University
> Provo, UT 84602
> http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson