Sunday, June 6, 2010

Discussion of Foucault’s Archaeology Chapter 5

Notes on Foucault’s Archaeology

Here are some of the points of Michel Foucault’s The Archaeology of Knowledge and The Discourse on Language (1972), Chapter 5, that we discussed at the last meeting of the Philosophy Society:

1. Prejudices are latent in conceptualization, classification, schemata and succession. There is always a selection that takes place in using these intellectual paradigms which is more emotional than logical.

2. The field of memory is highly selective as statements are forgotten both intentionally and/or unintentionally. There is no continuity in things; it is always created and imagined whatever be the theme or discipline.

3. What we remember is what we want to remember. Things that we are not concerned with do not possess continuity. This is so because we are not aware of them.

4. Procedure is a function of prioritizing or privileging what we want. A holistic scheme is just a notion, a figment of the imagination.

5. The transcription method is discursive in nature and therefore only approximates itself to perception, measurement and description. The latter processes are not exact. Discussion which invariably employs these skills is therefore artificial.

6. Rules operate within a discourse both anonymously and relentlessly. We must use these rules if we follow or enter a discourse. A discourse functions within a set of frames, practices and rules. However these rules are not universally valid but typical to a particular time and discourse.

7. Rules in the formation of objects or concepts are not located in an ideal or empirical “progress of ideas.” They are neither things nor words. Also they cannot be related to the knowing subject or to the psychological individual.
© Mukesh Williams May 2010

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