Foucault's move beyond hermeneutics

Creator: 

Duncan, John C. (John Cameron), 1960-

Date: 

1991

Abstract: 

The purpose of this essay is to bring out the relevance of Foucault's move beyond theories which ultimately explain all practices by reducing them to the intentional activity of human subjects, that is, beyond philosophical humanism. Sartre's works are discussed first: in his later writings Sartre developed a notion — the "practico-inert" — which allows worked, scarce matter to significantly determine practices. However, he ultimately undermined this anti-humanist position by reducing the constitution of the practico-inert itself to intentional human activity. Next, Heidegger's attempts to transcend the parameters of philosophical humanism by situating intentional activity on the base of "Being" are considered. Yet Heidegger's hermeneutic approach slips into humanism because it relies on an understanding of history which ultimately reduces all practices to the intentional activity of subjects. Finally Foucault's "archaeological" work is discussed, pointing toward an opening which displaces the space of philosophical humanism as it moves beyond hermeneutics.

Subject: 

Foucault, Michel, 1926-1984. -- Philosophy

Language: 

English

Publisher: 

Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Master of Arts: 
M.A.

Thesis Degree Level: 

Master's

Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Philosophy

Parent Collection: 

Theses and Dissertations

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