Foucault nietzsche genealogy history essay
Foucault Michel Nietzsche Genealogy And History 1971 pd
In chapter 6 I solve another problem pertaining to philosophical genealogy. This particular and rather troublesome problem as I examined it only very briefly in chapter one concerned what we may call "the justification question" regarding the truth status of genealogical investigations. That is, I examine and analyze the basic epistemic guidelines and conditions a genealogist must meet and, as we will see, virtuously satisfy, in order to defend and endorse the epistemic merit or warrant of the particular genealogical inquiry in question. In essence, this chapter explains why a genealogical method and manner of philosophical and historical investigation is to be preferred to other methods of philosophic inquiry by explicitly demonstrating that genealogical investigations follow, (for the most part) a foundherentist schema of justification and empirical warrant as developed by the eminent logician and epistemologist Susan Haack. I support this contention by showing that both Nietzsche and Foucault use a wide variety of causally related and mutually supportive pieces of evidence to substantiate their respective hypotheses. I conclude this chapter`by indicating that there remains a relatively minor, yet, unresolved problem with Haack's foundherentist position`and I indicate how I will go about solving this problem in the last chapter.
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From the first volume, it was learned that the body serves as the ultimate, non-doxastic, causal touchstone for a genealogical investigation. It is the body which allows the genealogist to trace the development of one value from one historical dispositif to the next. In chapter 5 of the present volume, I return to answer the problems that were leftover from chapter two regarding the ontological status of the human body. I argue that we are able to navigate a course between the Scylla of essentialism on the one hand, and the Charbydis of anti-essentialism on the other, by articulating a middle ground position which, I call, following Ian Hacking, a "looping kind" position. In essence, I argue that the body, as with all things, is a tension of forces and counter-forces held together by what both Nietzsche and Foucault would call "will to power." Consequently, by understanding the composition and "quasi-structures" of the body on this more primordial level of power, I am successfully able to synthesize the positions of both the essentialist and anti-essentialist perspectives.