3a.ikuscommentary.j_ger_wrbouschek (p)

3a.ikuscommentary.j_ger_wrbouschek (p) - (of Truth....

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Psychology & Society, 2009, Vol. 2 (1), 45 ‐ 49 45 The Problem of Critique and its Inherent Standards (of Truth). A Cursory Response to Markus Wrbouschek SIEGFRIED JÄGER University of Duisburg/Essen & Duisburg Institute of Language and Social Research (DISS) Markus Wrbouschek’s (2009) paper overall and mainly revolves around a single problem: the problem of profound critique. The different approaches discussed by Wrbouschek are methodically close. They diverge in the central question whether critics are able or supposed to either criticize discourses from the outside or take part in the discursive battle with their critique. I advance the position that critics themselves can only move about within discourse. If they take their own model of interpretation serious they cannot criticize discourses from without, i.e., from a position outside of discourse. A Foucauldian theory of discourse does not assume such an outside at all. This position needs to be discussed in detail, and I propose to start off such a discussion with the Foucauldian concept of dispositive . A dispositive in a Foucauldian sense consists of three elements that are tightly interwoven: discourses, practices, and material objects. These three ‘levels’ share something that may be called knowledge 1 (or not‐ knowledge/ignorance): • Discourses ‘transport’ knowledge, • action is knowledge‐based, material objects are infiltrated with knowledge that can be interpreted or reinterpreted by the analyst (Foucault 1978, Jäger 2001, Link 2007, Bührmann and Schneider 2008 ) . Knowledge always resides on the part of the interpreting (‘knowing’) persons, not within discourses, within practice, or within material objects. Knowledge can only be captured as discursive knowledge, i.e., as human interpretation. 2 As is commonly known, these interpretations vary substantially. They are, in blunt words, as pluralistic as science itself?, not to mention different regions, ‘cultures,’ times, genders, generations, ages, etc., or however one may call it. If this is right, and it seems right to me—but what is right?—, then there is no social or natural reality in a strict sense. Unfortunately, all we have at our disposal as analysts are interpretations of interpretations of interpretations... (I will not address the fruitless dispute about the wounded who does feel pain, because pain is an interpretation, too). 1 The English word ‘knowledge’ stands for both, the german Wissen as well as Erkenntnis . There are specific differences in connotation beween the two German expressions. Throughout this text ‘knowledge’ stands for Wissen . Where it denotes Erkenntnis the german expression is given in brackets. 2 I slide over the problematic relation between discourse and subject on purpose.
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Psychology & Society, 2009, Vol. 2 (1), 45 ‐ 49 46 There is no objective truth we could refer to but only cultural‐historical ‘truths’ that are (reasonably) valid , respectively , and that are constantly struggled for (In this respect,
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