Posted on Jan 20, 2020

Mazel Musical Arts Society

I have mixed two clips together in this short video. I used iShowU Instant with my iPad to capture the clips.

First, I added a few clips from this classic 1971 debate between Noam Chomsky and Michel Foucault on justice and power. Among other things, Foucault suggests that there is no fixed, ahistorical notion of human nature, as posited by Chomsky’s concept of innate human faculties. Chomsky argues that concepts of justice are rooted in human nature and reason, whereas Foucault rejects any such universal basis for a concept of justice.

Sidebar: I used to side with Chomsky on these philosophical debates but now I believe Foucault may actually have a much deeper and perhaps philosophically realistic insight into the dilemma faced by all modern thinkers on trying to think of a reasonable arc for man's relationship with society.

Next, in The Disappearance of Man - Michel Foucault (1966)
In the spirit of Nietzsche, Foucault declares the death of Man, suggesting that our notion of Man is itself a somewhat recent invention. He suggests that Man is a mere "glittering surface", the foam over top various underlying systems and structures which are what have determined and defined it. He contrasts his own structuralist or post-structuralist view with that of Sartre's existentialist humanism, who had given priority to human subjectivity...

"Paradoxically, the development of the human sciences is leading to the disappearance of Man rather than to Man's apotheosis."

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