From Foucault to Heidegger a One-Way Ticket?

  • Rudi Visker
Part of the Phaenomenologica book series (PHAE, volume 155)


Dasein, Heidegger says, stands in the truth. And not only that: it stands equi-primordially both in the truth and the untruth. Or in a later formulation on which the‘Turning’has already stamped its seal: the untruth is‘older’or‘more primordial’than the truth itself, Dasein must be in the untruth in order to be in the truth. Mendel, on the other hand, as we read in Foucault, lies outside the truth: what he says gets lost in the tumultuous space of a “wild exteriority,” where those are referred whose speech does not conform to the rules which the “discursive police” of their discipline set down2.


Exclusion Mechanism Preceding Chapter Winter Semester Basic Writing Internal Author 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    See the introduction by A. De Waelhens en W. Biemel to their translation of Vom Wesen der Wahrheit (M. Heidegger, De l’essence de la vérité, Louvain/Paris,Nau-welaerts/Vrin, 1948, pp. 44-5). For the difference with Being and Time, see BT § 44b.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    For Foucault’s discussion of Mendel see his ‘The Order of Discourse’ (ODis, pp. 60-1).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    ‘Le retour de la morale’, Les Nouvelles Littéraires, 28/6-5/7 1984, p. 40.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    M. Foucault, ‘Réponse à une question’, Esprit, 1968 (36:5), p. 863.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Ibid. and AK, pp. 44-5, 118-9.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    On the episteme of the Renaissance: OT, pp. 17-45; p. 39 on Aldrovandi.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    M. Foucault, Naissance de la clinique. Une archéologie du regard médical, Paris, P.U.F., 1983, p. 171.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    AK, pp. 67, 110 and ‘Réponse à une question’, l.c., p. 861.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    M. Merleau-Ponty, PP, p. 176 and the allusion to this passage in OT, p. XVIII.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    AK, p. 209: “These positivities are not so much limitations imposed on the initiative of the subjects as the field in which that initiative is articulated (without however, constituting its centre)…”.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    M. Foucault, Truth and Power’ (1977), in ID., Power/ Knowledge. Selected Interviews and Other Writings (1972–1977), (ed. C. Gordon), New York, Pantheon Books, 1980, p. 132.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    For this notion of an ‘inner author’ cf. my ‘Can Genealogy Be Critical? A Somewhat Unromantic Look at Nietzsche and Foucault’, Man and World, 1990(23), pp. 441-52, esp. the second section: ‘Where is the author?’. I there define the ‘internal author’ as “that instance in a text which closes a problematic that tries to break through” (p. 445). My Michel Foucault. Genealogy as Critique (London/New York, Verso, 1995) consequently locates the inner author ‘Foucault’ in the quotation marks he puts around’ sciences’ or around words like’ soul’. I sometimes tend to stress this difference between the inner author and his problematic, be it Foucault or someone else, by putting his name between quotation marks (as I already did when speaking of ‘Heidegger’s’ decision in the previous chapter).Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    M. Foucault, Résumé des cours. 1970–1982, Paris, Gallimard, 1989, p. 14.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    See the lectures of the 21st and 28th of January 1976, published in German as Vom Licht des Krieges zur Geburt des Geschichte, Berlin, Merve, 1986 and now also available in the recently published full lecture course “Il faut défendre la société”. Cours au Collège de France (1975–1976) (ed. by M. Bertani and A. Fontana), Paris, Gallimard/Seuil, 1997.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    ‘Truth and Power’, loc. cit., p. 133: “It’s not a matter of emancipating truth from every system of power (which would be a chimera, for truth is already power), but of detaching the power of truth from the forms of hegemony, social, economic and cultural, within which it operates at the present time. The political question, to sum up, is not error, illusion, alienated consciousness or ideology; it is truth itself. Hence the importance of Nietzsche”.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Résumé des cours, o.c., p. 14.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    S. Ijsseling, ‘Nietzsche en de Rhetorica’, Tijdschrift voor Filosofie, 1973 (35:4), p. 798.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    For such a critique see P. Dews, ‘The Nouvelle Philosophie and Foucault’, in M. GANE (ed.), Towards a Critique of Foucault, London/New York, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1986, p. 82.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Paul Veyne uses this expression in his sympathetic description of Foucault’s project: ‘Foucault révolutionne l’histoire’, in P. Veyne, Comment on écrit l’histoire, Paris, Seuil, 1978, p. 204.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    M. Foucault, ‘Introduction’, in Herculine Barbin: Being the Recently Discovered Memoirs of a Nineteenth-Century French Hermaphrodite, New York, Pantheon Books, 1980, p. XIII.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    For expressions such as “the body in itself” which one can find in Surveiller et Punir (Discipline and Punish) and La volonté de savoir (The History of Sexuality: Volume I) (though not in the English translations!) see my Genealogy as Critique, pp. 122 ff.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    The qualification ‘conservative’ is not meant to have a political connotation here.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Cf. M. Heidegger, Vom Wesen der Wahrheit. Zu Piatons Höhlengleichnis und Theätet (Freiburg Lectures, winter semester 1931/32), GA 34, pp. 172-3.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    I follow here J.-Fr. Courtine, ‘Phénoménologie et vérité’, in F. VOLPI e.a., Heideggeret l’idée de la phénoménologie (Phaenomenologica 108), Dordrecht/Boston/London, Kluwer, 1988, pp. 81-106.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Cf. ‘Aletheia (Heraclitus, Fragment B16)’, in ID., Early Greek Thinking. The Dawn of Western Philosophy, San Francisco, Harper & Row, 1984, pp. 113 ff. and GA34, pp. 92-3.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    ‘auf einem Weg des Entbergens bringen’ is an expression Heidegger frequently uses in his essay on ‘The Question Concerning Technology’ (in Basic Writings, New York, Harper & Row, 1977).Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    As in the previous chapter, the ‘a’ in “essance” refers to the verbal character of Heidegger’s “Wesen”.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity. Twelve Lectures, Cambridge, Polity Press, 1987, p. 153.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Vier Seminare, Frankfurt a. M., Vittorio Klostermann, 1977, p. 125 (= GA15:387).Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Ibid., p. 124 (=GA 15: 386).Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Cf. ‘The End of Philosophy and the Task of Thinking’: “The lumen naturalle, the light of reason, (…), does concern the clearing, but so little does it form it that it needs it in order to be able to illuminate what is present in the clearing” (Basic Writings, o.c., p. 386 — transi. modified).Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Grundfragen der Philosophic Ausgewählte “Probleme” der “Logif” (Freiburg Lectures, winter semester 1937/38), GA 45, p. 44.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    ‘Plato’s Doctrine of Truth’, in W. Barrett and H. D. Acken (eds.), Philosophy in the Twentieth Century. An Anthology. Vol. II, New York, Random House, 1962, p. 269 (transl, modified).Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    ‘Overcoming Metaphysics’, in M. Heidegger, The End of Philosophy, Norwich, Souvenir Press, 1975, p. 102.Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Parmenides (Freiburg Lectures, winter semester 1942/43), GA 54, p. 225: “weil im Offenen des Seins allein auch das Unverborgene des Seienden erscheinen kann und erscheint, hält sich der Mensch zunächst, und unversehens dann ständig, nur an das Seiende. Er vergißt das Sein und lernt in solchem Vergessen nur das eine: die Verkennung des Seins und die Entfremdung gegen das Offene”.Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Cf. GA 34, pp. 323-4: “Unser Fragen nach dem Wesen der Wahrheit ist kein überflüssiger Nachtrag, sondern das Vortragen unseres Wollens und Daseins in ganz andere Bahnen und Bezirke. Dieser Wandel des Wesens der Wahrheit ist aber nicht die bloβe Abänderung einer Begriffsbestimmung (…), sondern dieser Wandel des Wesens der Wahrheit is die Umwälzung des ganzen menschlichen Seins, an deren Beginn wir stehen” (text from 1931-2); and GA 45, p. 214: “In der hier gestellten Wahrheitsfrage gilt es nicht nur eine Abänderung des bisherigen Begriffes der Wahrheit, nicht eine Ergänzung der geläufigen Vorstellung, es gilt eine Verwandelung des Menschseins selbst (…) die Verrückung des Menschseins aus seinem bisherigen Standort — oder besser seiner Standortlosigheit— in den Grund seines Wesens, der Gründer und Wahrer der Wahrheit des Seyns zu werden (…)” (text from 1937–8).Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Heidegger himself uses the word ‘decay’ (Verfall), e.g. in GA 34, p. 181: “auf dem Wege eines Verfallens (ist) der Begriff des ‘Denkens’ und der‘ratio’ entstanden”, and passim in GA 45, GA 54. I will return to the difficulties and peculiarities which characterize Heidegger’s use of this expression.Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    In what follows I comment GA 45, pp. 100-12 and passim.Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Compare, for example, what is said on GA 45, p. 99 with the remark on the next page where Heidegger evokes an age “in which the conception of truth as correctness was still foreign to the Greeks; in which rather the original experience of truth as unconcealedness held its sway”. It seems as if the introduction of homoiosis not only has been possible on the basis of this original experience of truth, but that it also corrupted this experience. With homoiosis we have the beginning of a series of de iure superfluous supplements to an original experience of truth that (de iure again) also could have existed without these supplements and indeed have. At the same time, however, Heidegger seems to be trying to link this corruption of the origin to its “corruptibility” (see my comments in the preceding paragraph).Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    GA 45, p. 139 and ‘The Age of the World Picture’, in M. HEIDEGGER, The Question Concerning Technology and Other Essays, New York, Harper & Row, 1977, p. 131.Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    ‘The Age of the World Picture’, p. 132.Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    For this characterisation of mimesis as ‘appearance in another place’: S. IJSSELING, Mimesis. On Appearing and Being (transi. H. IJsseling — J. Bloechl), Kampen (The Netherlands), Kok Pharos, 1997, which includes an essay on ‘Heidegger and Mimesis’ (pp. 59-77).Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Cf. Der Satzvom Grund,Pfullingen, Neske, 1986, p. 88: ‘UnserVernehmenist in sich ein Entsprechen’.Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    ‘La pauvreté de l’Homo humanus ou l’homme sans facultés’ is the title of the second part of M. Haar’s brilliant book on Heidegger et l’essence de l’homme, Grenoble, Millon, 1990.Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    GA 45, p. 118 where Heidegger explains that the Greek ‘kai’ should be taken here in an explicative sense: “im Sinne von ‘und das will sagen’”.Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    For what is at stake in such ‘Violence’, see chapter 4 below.Google Scholar
  47. 47.
    This seems to be the problem Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe discusses in ‘Typographie’ (in ID., Mimesis des articulations, s.l., Aubier Flammarion, 1975, pp. 165-270).Google Scholar
  48. 48.
    ‘The Question Concerning Technology’, in Basic Writings, o.c., pp. 297 ff.Google Scholar
  49. 49.
    E.g. ‘Memorial Address’, in Discourse on Thinking, New York, Harper & Row, 1966, p. 48: “Week after week the movies carry them off into uncommon, but often merely common, realms of the imagination, and give the illusion of a world that is no world ”.Google Scholar
  50. 50.
    For Foucault the ‘appearance’ of homosexuality cannot be viewed as a ‘pro-duction’ but as a production (see my analysis in Genealogy as Critique, chapter 3).Google Scholar
  51. 51.
    The End of Philosophy’, l.c., p. 390.Google Scholar
  52. 52.
    For these expressions: GA 45, pp. 37, 48 and passim. For Hegel/Heidegger: M. Haar, Le chant de la tern. Heidegger et les assises de l’histoire de l’être, Paris, Editions de l’Herne, 1985, pp. 141-60.Google Scholar
  53. 53.
    Cf. also J. Caputo), ‘Demythologizing Heidegger:Aletheia and the History of Being’, Review of Metaphysics, 1988 (41), pp. 519-46.Google Scholar
  54. 54.
    Time and Being’, in M. Heidegger, On Time and Being, New York, Harper & Row, 1972, pp. 12-3.Google Scholar
  55. 55.
    ’summary of a Seminar on the Lecture “Time and Being”’, in On Time and Being, p. 36.Google Scholar
  56. 56.
    Identity and Difference, New York, Harper & Row, 1974, p. 64.Google Scholar
  57. 57.
    ‘The End of Philosophy’, l.c., p. 391.Google Scholar
  58. 58.
    ’summary of a Seminar on the Lecture “Time and Being”’, p. 30.Google Scholar
  59. 59.
    Time and Being’, l.c., p. 8 and Vier Seminare, p. 102 (GA 15: 364).Google Scholar
  60. 60.
    I follow here Die Seinsgeschichtliche Bestimmung des Nihilismus (1944/6), in Nietzsche Bd. II, Pfullingen, 1961, pp. 335-98 (English transl in: Nietzsche Vol. IV, San Francisco, Harper & Row, 1982, pp. 197-250, in particular p. 246).Google Scholar
  61. 61.
    ‘On the Essence of Truth, in Basic Wntings, o.c., pp. 132 ff.Google Scholar
  62. 62.
    Cf. J.-L. Chrétien, ‘La réserve de l’être’, in Cahier de l’Herne. Heidegger, Paris, L'Herne (Biblio/Essais), 1983, pp. 233-60. In what follows I comment on §§ 6 and 7 of Of the Essence of Truth.Google Scholar
  63. 63.
    ‘Memorial Address’, l.c., p. 55.Google Scholar
  64. 64.
    Vier Seminare, o.c., p. 100 (GA 15:362).Google Scholar
  65. 65.
    R. Bernet, l.c., p. 262.Google Scholar
  66. 66.
    ‘Memorial Address’, l.c., pp. 56 and 54 (henceforth MA).Google Scholar
  67. 67.
    Der Satz vom Grund, p. 101 and passim.Google Scholar
  68. 68.
    Ibid., p. 188 (my transi.).Google Scholar
  69. 69.
    In rendering “Sätze”, which is, of course, strictly untranslatable (it could among other things also mean “bounces”),by “movements” (in the musical sense of the term) — I follow R. Lilly in his translation of The Pnnciple of Reason (Bloomington/Indianapolis, Indiana U.P., 1991, p. 113).Google Scholar
  70. 70.
    I borrow this image from my colleague H. DE DIJN,’ spinoza: rationalist én mysticus?’, De Uil van Minerva, 1989–90 (6:1), p. 42.Google Scholar
  71. 71.
    ‘The Question Concerning Technology’, l.c., p. 308.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rudi Visker

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations