We have never been postmodern: Latour, Foucault and the material of knowledge
Contemporary Political Theory, Vol. 8, No. 4, pg. 435-454.
In We Have Never Been Modern Bruno Latour challenges the
intellectual community to find an alternative to modernism that does
not privilege either the discursive or the material in the construction
of knowledge. A central aspect of his thesis is the rejection of
postmodernism as a version of linguistic constructionism. I challenge
his assessment of one postmodern, Michel Foucault, by arguing that
Foucault's work successfully integrates the discursive and the
material. Focusing on Foucault's theory of power, I argue that he
provides a viable alternative to both modernism and linguistic
constructionism that is particularly relevant to political theory. His
approach to knowledge entails the intimate integration and interaction
of the material and the discursive in every aspect of its constitution.
I argue that his conception offers an understanding of politics and
power that avoids the pitfalls of the material/discursive dichotomy.
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(Something interesting I found)Posted: Monday, January 11, 2010