If Kant gave us a first bifurcation, and Ludwig Wittgenstein gave us the second, then Michel Foucault gives us the third.
From Foucault we have the subsequent “post modern” discourses which then evidences what we could call ‘structural’ bifurcation; which is to say, that which becomes bifurcated is the ability to have a view due to the language as it is viewed.
Foucault gives is a very clear explanation of what happens with the Postmodern — one manner of which leads directly to Donna HarowAy of my previous post; we could say that Donna is an example of the clinical tradition:
(From “The Birth of the Clinic“)
“So it is not the gaze itself that has the power of analysis and synthesis, but the synthetic truth of language, which is added to the outside, as a reward for the vigilant gaze of the student…
…In no sense was the clinic to discover by means of the gaze, it merely duplicated the art of demonstrating [that the student could remember the corpus of previous experience] by showing.”
The point he makes here is that actual reality is left behind as the remembering the clinical ((read: corpus (technology, as opposed to the actual body) of a priori synthetical knowledge)) knowledge is rewarded due to the student being a part of the group of people who are developing a set of diagnoses which more and more leave the body (patient) behind as an empty place holder for disease, as opposed to that for which diagnosis is meant to treat (the actual body).
The postmodern tradition which sees a a body of priori synthetical knowledge justified over the actual in-itself real body is the tradition by which Donna Harroway finds her place: The world of fantasy to which she then posits a solution of more fantastic words.
The actual real world is missed and set aside in the argumentation which is based upon an assumption that the world is created by a priori synthesis. What happens, though, as we are seeing, is that the world gets more and more screwed up because knowledge for itself is posited in having no responsibility for the actual world that human beings live in actuality.
I’m not sure how many more time I could say it, Becuase, just the same: no argument about the non-existence of God will ever be proven to change a congregants religious faith. The same with this postmodern faith.
But my point is not that she is necessarily incorrect; rather: Why does she feel compelled to use such obscure and verbose language to express such simple ideas?
It shows something about what is really happening when we personalize what is actually occurring to an actual body that is the person herself. Something that mere argument consistently and purposefully avoids or misses: Denial. (Don’t Even kNow I Am Lying)
It shows, as again Foucault speaks of elsewhere, that the act (a body which is doing the crime) of the crime is being set aside for the sake of an embodiment of crime (an idea can only be argued against), as a person can be criminal instead of merely what they do. Here, it appears opposite, in true postmodern form: Donna is excluded or shielded from her act (the act that her body, or person, is doing) by virtue of saying things that appear intelligent but are actually based in assumptions of a body (stereo-typed person), that is, never dealing with the body (world) as it is right now in front of her gaze. She is lumping the act into the body as though they are one and calling it justified. And this is exactly what Foucault warns against (see my earlier post about Age of Consent).
Nonetheless; Harroway has a semi-famous video she put out I think in the late 80s where she talks about history and knowledge as like a ball of thread or yarn. (I have that posted somewhere). Her point is that at no time are we ever encountering nor finding “what truly is happening or happened”, but that we “pull threads” from the wadded and tangled ball of yarn and then see that line or string as representing “history” or knowledge in general. But in actuality it is always a tangled ball of yarn.
This analogy is what I draw upon also by the term “modernity” or what we view as modern. What upholds an idea of history/knowledge is a faith.
Society and the world suffers when we disclose the nature of reality and impose it upon people in general, simply due to our knowing what is true. This is irresponsible Becuase humanity to function well and smoothly needs its fiction. It is not able to do well under an imposition of truth: it needs faith in reality.
The idea that the truth should be understood by all is a fallacy Becuase what happens, as we see, is all sorts of mental health and social problems. The ‘regular’ human psyche cannot process well, cannot reconcile such “high knowledge” without all sorts of compensatory behaviors. Such behaviors are the messed up ethical world.