Sometimes it’s very hard to do something, harder still to “be” something.
Or as Foucault put it: it’s work.
Work: that which is capable of introducing a significant difference in the field of knowledge, at the cost of certain pains for the author and reader, and with the possible reward of a certain pleasure, namely that of access to another figure of truth (DE 324, trans. Colin Gordon).
Mark at Struggles with Philosophy posed this question to Ali Rivzi last week by asking whether Habermas and Foucault are “compatible.” Rivzi has used both in his work and is now faced with this question from a reader.
Without addressing this question head-on, I think the idea that one struggles with one’s subject is something that can’t come out very well in traditional written outlets such as books and papers. It might come out a bit in the classroom, but even there the expectation is to “prepare” and deliver a series of completed remarks. Who goes to give a talk without preparing?
Yet every day at this blog I create entries without preparing, without even knowing my topic, except that which happens to come up. It’s “live” thinking and writing: the technologies of the self mentioned previously. Perhaps a blogspace is peculiar in all these regards?
To capture the struggle then is something else, maybe even not about capturing but about doing the struggle, being the struggle “at the cost of certain pains.”
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