Reactions to the Berfrois review

Peter Gratton offers some thoughts in response to my review of Foucault’s 1970-71 course here. Interesting ideas about how the claims could be read as a critique of the crisis of legitimation argument in modernity. I think this might be developed in interesting ways, though I’d suspect the point is not so much that power has worked that way for thousands of years, but that democracy has that inherent in its logic (which is really Peter’s key point). The hierarchical model is a useful approximation for most of the Middle Ages, for instance.

The review has also been linked to by Jeremy Crampton and John Protevi at New APPS.  There are a couple of comments to the latter. One is not worth engaging with, but in response to the other, I’d say that Foucault’s 1982 reflections offer one vantage point on his life’s work, but that the ‘raw materials’ of the 1970-71 lectures offer a rather different one. That said, a concern with the subject can certainly be found in this course, and one point in the review I offer a quotation from p. 153 that links many of his overall themes.

Generally it’s clear that this review has been noticed much more than if I’d published it in a standard journal. It’s also been quite widely distributed as a link on twitter and facebook. It’s got me thinking a bit more about the way journals publish reviews, in terms of time scales and exposure. Maybe more on that soon.

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One Response to Reactions to the Berfrois review

  1. Pingback: Power, Nietzsche and the Greeks: Foucault’s Leçons sur la volonté de savoir (2011) « Foucault News

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