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April 16, 2012 / compassioninpolitics

A short explanation of Foucault, Heidegger, and Related Critiques

There is a decent thread I believe in the critique forum on Foucault….and there should be one on Heidegger.

Heidegger is that the technological worldview or technological thinking destroys being & it destroys reflection. Its more calculative in nature (ie utilitarianism bad).
Enframing & dasaien are probably the biggest terms in heidgegger’s philosophical vocab.

Foucault norms/ethics/values, knowledge/truth, and institutions are dangerous–they are all exercises in power. That means almost all affs that do the resolution link to Foucault on every resolution.
One of his alternatives, which isn’t used often is geneological–looking at the deployment of particular rhetoric throughout history. (think of it a bit like an etemology of the word–although thats).

The other major application of Foucault to debate is the notion of biopower. This argument links to 90% to 97% of affirmatives. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biopower
In its simpliest terms its a criticism of “national security” and “risk” type claims. The best application of this argument in debate I think is the book On Security, which has about a dozen essays. It was edited by
Ronnie D. Lipschutz. You probably have some of the cards in your securitization file, but its usually run as Threat Construction as a critique of realism or neo-realism. What is neo-realism?

It assumes 3 core things about the international system:
1. states are self interested
2. states seek power
3. ergo, the international sphere is like the state of nature (and Hobbesian in nature)

These 4 are crude summaries (heidegger, foucault, biopower, threat construction/realism), but I hope you get the point.

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