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"To the modern reader the population caught up in the 'great confinement' seems rather heterogeneous in character, but their commonality becomes visible, according to Foucault, when one realizes that it's (moral) disorder that they have in common from the perspective of classical learning."

I once listened to an incredibly sad program on the radio about people who had be lobotomized in the 1950s and 60s in the US - sometimes (often?) without knowing this is what had happened to them until much later. What was amazing was how often it was basically unruley or defiant behavior by teens (or sometimes wives) that lead to this, not things that you'd think could possibly require or justify it. "moral disorders" might describe them quite well.

On the more general post, I wonder how far there's an indirect connection via Alexander Koyre, who was of course a big influence on Kuhn and also Foucault's predecessors and teachers (Canguilhem in particular) as well as Foucault, though how much I'm less sure. Gary Gutting, in his otherwise very interesting chapter on Kuhn and French philosophy of science in the volume on Kuhn in the "contemporary philosophy in focus" series downplays the role of Koyre some, saying his influence on Kuhn was more historiographical than philsophical, but I wonder if that distinction really makes sense in this case. If you haven't read it, you might enjoy the chapter.

eric schliesser

I like the idea that Koyre is significant common source for Kuhn and Foucault. That makes a lot of sense.
PS While reading about the great confinement I also thought a lot about contemporary prison-state Stateside, especially.

Peter FitzGerald

The French development of these themes with reference to Kuhn and Foucault is explored in a paper titled From Bachelard to Althusser: the concept of 'epistemological break'. [Economy and Society vol. 7 No. 3 August 1978 - translated by Elizabeth Kingdom ]. This translation omits a short appendix on Kuhn in the French paper given by Balibar to the Secundo Coloquio Nacional de Filosofia 3-7 October 1977, Monterrey, Nueva Leon, Mexico.

Posted by: Peter FitzGerald 29/03/2023

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