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Continuing on "What Is Enlightenment" by Immanuel Kant (1784), "On Enlightening the Mind" by Moses Mendelssohn (1784), and "What Is Enlightenment" by Michael Foucault (1984).
We finish up Kant (the courage to know!) and lay out the Mendelssohn (cultivation vs. enlightenment) and Foucault (ironically heroize the present!). Will this conversation enlighten you? Who knows?
Listen to part one first or get the unbroken, ad-free Citizen Edition. Please support PEL!
End song: "Holy Fool" by Love and Rockets. Listen to singer Daniel Ash on Nakedly Examined Music #35.
Image by Charles Valsechi.
various twists on the conditions of the possibility…
Rabinow (who was a late interlocutor for Foucault along with Bert Dreyfus) has updated Foucault’s focus on the present in his studies of the contemporary, see for example:
“PAUL RABINOW: For a long time now I have been in search of a different manner of practicing the qualitative human sciences. In a sense this quest goes back to my education at the University of Chicago in the 1960s, where there was a curriculum and where we were encouraged to think beyond the disciplinary boundaries. I was drawn to anthropology as a discipline in which it might be possible to practice “fieldwork in philosophy,” that is to say to pose questions and address problems traditionally situated in philosophic venues but to explore them out of the academy through sustained inquiry in the world. With the prodigious exception of Michel Foucault, 20th-century philosophers have not conducted this form of empirically based, slow, and time-consuming inquiry. Even John Dewey, one of my guiding lights in providing a conceptualization of inquiry, basically did not carry out any such project. Thus, the challenge has been to be conceptually innovative, experimental in the dual sense of an appropriately rigorous approach to problems and in the work on the self and others that makes one capable of ethically undertaking such work..”
“At the center of this political and theoretical project was the transformation of the concept of critique. The Frankfurt School completed an epistemic and ontological revolution that had started with Immanuel Kant. The task of the Kantian “critique of pure reason” was to limit reason’s theoretical pretentions in order to create room for a faith that would support freedom and morality. Kant argued that we can never establish with theoretical certainty that we have free will; nor could this claim be proven wrong. So it remains open to us to act with a practical faith that we are free: that we can be moved by reasons, assert our autonomy, and fulfill the demands of morality. Critique for Kant is in the service of autonomy: only a critical exercise of reason can save us from our self-inflicted tutelage to false beliefs in authority, religion, and tradition.”
Love the thumbnails, really beautiful graphic design. Your website is also masterfully built. I was just watch contrapoints redue the ‘The Marxist Reader’s as an example to Catgirl of how making Philosophy more approachable is actually the simplest way to spread it.
Lyndon Bailey says
I thought that rather than oppression and restriction, although Foucault was aware of it, his focus was more on how power worked through creativity, facility, subjectivity..how power was generative and not just oppressive in the explicit sense.
now you know.