Heidegger ala Bourdieu

On 6/2/95 Robert Wendel wrote:

> OK, so it seems I've missed the whole point of what Chris Hargens is
>saying: its a question of discursive autonomy with Bourdieu, not one
>concerning a simplistic sociological interpretation. Bourdieu attempts to
>"uncover traces of these historical/cultural contexts" to reveal the
>deceptive character of autonomy of Heidegger's thought. But despite the use
>of ideas Foucault brought to prominence (i.e. discursive practices), I don't
>see how this approach differs in principle from a 'simplistic' sociological
>interpretation. Indeed, Foucault himself appears indebted to Heidegger who
>ultimately seemed to understand that the possibilities given to thought, as
>the fold, 'pli', epoch of a certain historical granting provide the play
>between things, words, and humans in which discursive practices are
>formulated. Heidegger's thought thus interprets itself as a merely
>provisional and preparatory thought.

I think we must be careful about how much Foucault we read into Bourdieu.

>But it is not the discursive practices
>but rather the granting of the fold, the field of play, in which discursive
>formations are first formulated, that regulate thought and give it its
>provisional, dependent measure.

It seems to me that you are claiming two things here: first, that we can
distinguish between "the granting of the fold" and "discursive formations";
second, that "discursive formations" are somehow derivative of or dependent
on the "granting of the fold." These two claims parallel Heidegger's
distinction between the ontic and ontological. Now, I'm willing to grant
this distinction. But how can we be certain that Heidegger, in tracing out
of the ontological difference, is not confusing the ontic with the
ontological? And perhaps more to the point, how can we be certain that
Heidegger's own, _interested_, discursive practice as a philosopher does
not self-servingly affect his tracing out of this difference. Apropos of
this last question, consider the following by Bourdieu:

[by] establishing that the sense of the 'ontological difference' which
separates his thought from all previous thought is also what separates
'popular', pre-ontological and naively 'anthropological' interpretations
(as is Sartre's, according to Heidegger) from authentic ones, Heidegger
places his work out of reach and condemns in advance any reading which,
whether intentionally or not, would limit itself to its vulgar meaning and
which would, for example, reduce the analysis of 'inauthentic' existence to
a sociological description, as some well-intentioned but wrong-headed
intepreters have done, and as the sociologist also does, but with a totally
different purpose. By positing within the work itself a distinction between
two different readings of it, Heidegger finds himself well placed to
persuade the consenting reader, when faced with the most disconcerting puns
or the most blatant platitudes, to seek guidance from the master. The
reader may of course understand only too well, but he is persuaded to doubt
the authenticity of his own understanding, and to prohibit himself from
judging a work which has been set up once and for all as the yardstick of
its own comprehension." (_Language & Symbolic Power_ p.155)

Chris Hargens




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