Connections between Foucault and rhetoric

Jennifer Wilhite
Mind Map by Jennifer Wilhite, updated more than 1 year ago


mind map of Spaces of Invention article for Dr. Foster's class

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Connections between Foucault and rhetoric
1 power
1.1 a fine web of relations interwoven with the conditions of social action and, in part, from his suggestion that even overtly resistant acts are ultimately reabsorbed into these relations of power
1.1.1 power establishes a set of relations that enable social interaction and understanding. Thus, the very act of articulating a political agenda, to the extent that that agenda is intelligible, becomes enmeshed within relations of power statements of knowledge How can rhetoric be used in struggles against domination and in pursuit of freedom? Domination = freedom (334) NOT Foucault-ian equation Think more in terms of cooperation Faucault: power is subtle network of relationships that organize and define objects- enable and limit human actions Fluctuations between power and resistance domination: block in a field of relations of power, to render impassive and invariable: Denial of reversibility freedom by Foucault: uncertain point of reversibility: Stasis between power and resistance- point of possibility freedom does not consist of the implementation of new relations of power, but in the moment of possibility which precedes such reforms; spaces of freedom exist at limit points of power and knowledge power: spaces of freedom opening of space of freedom is contingent upon emergence of a space of dissension opening within the relations of power/knowledge that allows for invention of new discourses and new relations new relations made reconstituting subjectivity thought: displacement from the technologies of one's own subjectivity turn one's actions into problems to be objectively probed and questioned self is an object freedom and though exist at a point between the present and the possible The universal intellectual makes the fundamental mistake of completing the circuit connecting critique and transformation. By offering both the critique of the present and proposing its alternative, the crucial moment of displacement is avoided. Without the experience of uncertainty, thought is not engaged, concrete freedom is not provoked and dissension does not emerge. don't just give us all the answers displacement from present new discourses and relations of power an experience that changes us, that prevents us from always being the same, or from having the same kind of relationship with things and with others that we had knowledge / power / subjectivity dissension freedom thought discourse resistance subjectivity: prior object of dissention freedom thought dissension is not a new discourse, but the process of subjecting old and new discourses to a reflective/ inventional pause. Freedom is not the reversal of power relations, but the reflective/inventional moment before such a reversal. And, thought is not the emergence of a new subjectivity, but the reflection on one’s self and one’s actions as a problem and the inventional moment before some new way of living comes forth. space of thought uncertainty— the emergence of incoherence or an encounter with the incompatible—where the habitual ways of knowing and doing fail. In other words, entering a space of dissension, a space of concrete freedom. spaces of thought are immanent within the technologies of subjectivity criticism is a matter of flushing out thought displacement spaces of dissension: knowledge points of uncertainty and possibility productive points: creation
1.2 if there was no resistance, there would be no power relations... resistance comes first; power relations are obliged to change with resistances
1.2.1 friction between power and resistance represents the point where tension produces possibility
2 resistance
2.1 Critics say he is limited; he does not provide for viable political action
2.1.1 Resistance, then, cannot be generated within these relations of intelligibility but emanates from gaps within the lines of intelligibility gaps in intelligibility become places where resistant acts can disrupt power disruptions in "sense" gaps in power make room for the creation of resistant acts New acts: invention knowledge subjectivity gaps are more than just spaces from which resistant actions emerge: antecedent gaps
3 invention
3.1 spaces of dissension
3.1.1 emergence of statements within broad fields of discourse: Discourse formations What circumstances allow certain statements? Where? incoherence and contingency contradition prevent discourse from being self-contained limit points of discourse point where enforced consensus is disabled and various new discourse may emerge illusion of authority and absoluteness (try to hide the incoherence and contingency)
3.1.2 emergent contradictions productivity <--- this is how! Then change and transformation!
3.1.3 spaces of dissension
3.2 invention spaces
4 Social Theory
5 emergence of new discourse, directions for actions, and subject positions has been posed in terms of resistance to existing relationships with power
5.1 in moving against the power in relationships, we create new discourse: teens or minorities making up jargon
6 where Aristotle, and many rhetoricians since, conceives of invention in terms of “commonplaces,” Foucault seems to position invention within the decidedly uncommon places of uncertainty, paralysis, and displacement.
6.1 how different must be the “faculty of observing the available means of persuasion,” when the given situation is one of uncertainty, paralysis and displacement? What kind of an art is employed in those situations when the culturally agreedupon is unacceptable, when the act of speaking is unrecognized, or when the style of presentation is dismissed? Foucault suggests the existence of such an art, a mode of invention from which new discourses, directions, and subject positions are issued, and such an art clearly falls within the purview of rhetoric.
6.1.1 Foucaultian conception of invention challenges us to conceive the spaces from which the new emerges. superficial transformations there would seem to be instances where new discourses emerge without a reversal of power relations, or where practices change without the existence of thought struggle with these spaces of invention will provoke a degree of uncertainty, frustration, dispute, rejection or reflection within existing disciplinary regularities.
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