Archive for April, 2017

Farrell, F. , Duckworth, V., Reece, M., Rigby, P. The moral frontiers of English education policy: governmentality and ethics within an alternative provision free school Educational Review
Volume 69, Issue 3, 27 May 2017, Pages 349-365

This article is a critical poststructuralist analysis of Conservative led free school policy in England focusing on claims made by the New Schools Network and in the 2010 White Paper that free school provision promotes social justice. The article presents an empirical study of an alternative provision free school as a lens through which these claims can be interrogated. Drawing from Foucault’s concept of governmentality the article analyses the narratives of teachers working in the school in order to gain insights into the microphysics of the policy rationalities mobilised within the discursive site of the free school and claims that such provision promotes social justice. The teachers interviewed demonstrate a strong alignment to free school policy discourse, but also a blurring of pastoral and disciplinary rationalities expressed in terms of the rehabilitation of students on the educational boundaries of the “normal”. The article concludes that the school is a tactical move within neoliberal education policy in which the state responsibilises a new polity of actors, including teachers, sponsors and communities contracting out its interventions in order to govern the ungovernable. The article calls for further empirical research of free school provision in order to contest neoliberal discourses which obfuscate complex systemic failure and the social reality of intergenerational unemployment and disadvantage. © 2016 Educational Review.

Author keywords
alternative provision; ethics; Foucault; Free school; governmentality; neoliberal


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Hubert Dreyfus (1929-2017), Daily Nous, April 24 2017

An obituary of Hubert Dreyfus by Sean D. Kelly, Teresa G. and Ferdinand F. Martignetti Professor of Philosophy at Harvard University.

Hubert Dreyfus, a renowned philosopher and a professor of philosophy at UC Berkeley for almost 50 years, died early Saturday morning [22 April]. He was 87 years old.

Dreyfus studied philosophy at Harvard, arriving from Terre Haute, Indiana as a freshman in the fall of 1947. He received his B.A. with highest honors in 1951, completing an undergraduate thesis in the philosophy of physics under what he once described as the none-too-strenuous supervision of Quine. He stayed at Harvard for graduate work in philosophy, receiving an M.A. in 1952 and a Ph.D. in 1964.


Perhaps Dreyfus’ most important influence within philosophy was to interpret and extend recent European philosophy for the English speaking world. This was no mean feat. During the famous philosophical summit at Royaumont between French and English philosophers, in 1958, the two sides were so far apart that Charles Taylor described the event as a “dialogue de sourds” (dialogue of the deaf). It is no exaggeration to say that, insofar as English speaking philosophers have any access at all to thinkers like Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, and Michel Foucault, it is through the interpretation that Dreyfus originally offered of them.

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Obituary in Berkeley News

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The myth of the Russian paternalism: how have market reforms changed the “Soviet person?” Realnoe Vremya, 21.03.2017

Philosopher and sociologist Gregory Yudin delivered a lecture on ”The myth of the Russian paternalism: how have market reforms changed the ”Soviet person?” at the contemporary culture center Smena on 11 March. In his speech, the scientist told about the phenomenon of the ”Soviet person” and why the states by choosing modernisation still move each in its own way. Realnoe Vremya publishes the transcript of the lecture of Grigory Yudin, Candidate of Philosophy Sciences, senior researcher of the laboratory for economic sociology studies of the Higher School of Economics, and Professor of the Moscow Higher School of Social and Economic Sciences.


There is also a number of basic assumptions regarding the nature of modern societies. In the first place, here I will rely upon the work of French political philosopher and philosophical anthropologist Michel Foucault. From what does Foucault proceed? From that power in modern societies have economic nature. What does it mean? This means that in normal cases, modern cases, policy field is almost completely replaced by economics field. People have little interest in political life in its original sense — in somehow organizing an argument, a discussion or joint action on how to live further. They are rather more interested in economic issues, profits, maximizing their own success and they are willing to transfer authority to the one who most effectively maximizes economic welfare.

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Programme et Inscriptions
3èmes Journées d’études / 3rd Workshop
Pour une Épistémologie Historique des transformations techniques
Towards an Historical Epistemology of Technical Transformations

Paris, 18-19-20 mai 2017
Ecole Doctorale de Philosophie ED 280, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne
Institut des Sciences Juridique & Philosophique de la Sorbonne, UMR 8103 CNRS – Paris 1
Centre de Philosophie Contemporaine de la Sorbonne

 Inscriptions sur https://episthist.hypotheses.org/

 Jeudi 18 mai
Salle Cavaillès (17 rue de la Sorbonne, 75005, Escalier C, 1er étage)

Matinée 9h00-12h25

Pr. Pierre-Marie MOREL, Directeur Ecole Doctorale de Philosophie
Pr. Sandra LAUGIER, Directrice Centre de Philosophie Contemporaine de la Sorbonne
Pr. Jean-François BRAUNSTEIN, Comité scientifique des journées

Epistémologie des techniques financières: le cas de la gestion indicielle (1952-1973)
Christian WALTER, Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme

Splendeurs et misères de l’automatisation du travail: une mise en perspective historique
Luca PALTRINIERI, Université de Rennes 1

10h50-11h05 Pause-café

Schématisme et invention technique : du problème technologique dans la pensée de George Canguilhem aux nouvelles technologies numériques dans l’épistémologie de Francesco Antinucci
Fiorenza LUPI, Università degli studi di Roma La Sapienza

« Normativité vitale » et « normativité technique » : pour une éthique biologique des techniques
Emanuele CLARIZIO, Université de Technologie de Compiègne

Après-midi 14h15-18h00

Epistemic techniques beyond experimental systems: Examples from mathematics and the humanities
Moritz EPPLE, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

Identifying the Political Philosophy of the Grand Encyclopédie : Digital technologies and the prospects for a Historico-Political Epistemology
Martin HERRNSTADT, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
Dagmar COMTESSE, Tel Aviv University

Technologies of Truth (Germany, 1900-1940). A Methodological Framework to Study the Diffusion of Knowledge Techniques
Laurens SCHLICHT, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Niklas STOLL, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

16h25-16h40 Pause-café

Dire-vrai, aveu et discipline: Michel Foucault et les techniques de vérité.
Jerome LAMY, CNRS, CERTOP, Université Toulouse Jean Jaurès

Foucault and Fanon on Techniques of Interrogation and the Production of Truth
Alex FELDMAN, The Pennsylvania State University

 Venredi 19 mai
Salle Cavaillès (17 rue de la Sorbonne, 75005, Escalier C, 1er étage)

Matinée 9h00-13h00

L’étude des lignées phénoménotechniques : le cas des bolomètres
Vincent BONTEMS, Larsim CEA

Technology and Critique in the Work of Bachelard and Foucault
David WEBB, Staffordshire University

10h40-11h00 Pause-café

La production technique des faits scientifiques, d’Édouard Le Roy à Gaston Bachelard
Lucie FABRY, USR 3608 République des savoirs / École Normale Supérieure

The Janus Head of Bachelard’s phénoménotechnique: From Purification to Proliferation and Back
Massimiliano SIMONS, KU Leuven

Après-midi 14h15-18h00

L’histoire de la psychiatrie au prisme des techniques de prise en charge des individus : un autre regard sur les concepts et les théories
Julie MAZALEIGUE-LABASTE, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne

Le développement technologique de la méthode numérique en médecine
Mathieu CORTEEL, Université Paris-Sorbonne / Collège International de Philosophie

The Uses of Water: On the Implications of Therapeutic Technique in Foucault’s History of Madness
Samuel TALCOTT, University of the Sciences, Philadelphia

16h25-16h40 Pause-café

Epistemological History and “Collective Health”
Tiago ALMEIDA, Universidade de São Paulo

Kind of blue: epidemic of depression, Chile at the forefront
Joseph EATON, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso

 Samedi 20 mai
Salle Lalande (17 rue de la Sorbonne, 75005, Escalier C, 1er étage)

Matinée 10h30-12h30
Séance du Séminaire Foucault
animé par Jean-François Braunstein et Daniele Lorenzini

L’histoire en extériorité
Jocelyn BENOIST, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne

Après-midi 14h20-17h30

L’épistémologie historique face à la paléoethnologie: la question de la technique entre Canguilhem et Leroi-Gourhan
Annagiulia CANESSO, Università degli studi di Padova

L’animal indéterminé: au-delà d’une antrhopologie de la technique
Stefano PILOTTO, Università degli studi di Roma La Sapienza

15h40-16h00 Pause-café

Le rapport vie-technique-savoir chez Canguilhem et Foucault: entre épistémologie et théorie des institutions
Andrea ANGELINI, Università degli Studi di Firenze

Diorama device between Art and Science
Sonia REZZONICO, Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona) / Università degli Studi di Milano

Clôture des journées

 Comité scientifique
Christian BONNET, CHSPM, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne
Jean-François BRAUNSTEIN, PhiCO, ISJPS, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne
Arnold I. DAVIDSON, Université de Chicago
Pierre WAGNER, IHPST, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne

Comité organisateur
Laurent LOISON, Ivan MOYA DIEZ, Matteo VAGELLI (coordinateurs)

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Casey Williams, Has Trump Stolen Philosophy’s Critical Tools? The Stone, The New York Times, April 17, 2017

Truth is pliable in Trumpland.

In March, the president fired off a tweet accusing former President Barack Obama of wiretapping Trump Tower. Republican members of the Senate Intelligence Committee and the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, dismissed the claim. But the Trump team doubled down, writing off media reports and insisting that evidence of wiretapping would soon surface. It didn’t.


For decades, critical social scientists and humanists have chipped away at the idea of truth. We’ve deconstructed facts, insisted that knowledge is situated and denied the existence of objectivity. The bedrock claim of critical philosophy, going back to Kant, is simple: We can never have certain knowledge about the world in its entirety. Claiming to know the truth is therefore a kind of assertion of power.

These ideas animate the work of influential thinkers like Nietzsche, Foucault and Derrida, and they’ve become axiomatic for many scholars in literary studies, cultural anthropology and sociology.


Call it what you want: relativism, constructivism, deconstruction, postmodernism, critique. The idea is the same: Truth is not found, but made, and making truth means exercising power.

The reductive version is simpler and easier to abuse: Fact is fiction, and anything goes. It’s this version of critical social theory that the populist right has seized on and that Trump has made into a powerful weapon.

Trump and Stephen K. Bannon probably don’t spend evenings poring over Jean Baudrillard’s “Simulacra and Simulation” or Michel Foucault’s “The Archaeology of Knowledge” (although Bannon’s adviser, Julia Hahn, did write her undergraduate thesis on the psychoanalytic theorist Leo Bersani). But the parallels between Trump’s attacks on accepted knowledge and critical philosophy’s insistence that we interrogate truth claims suggest that not all assaults on the authority of facts are revolutionary.

Indeed, the social theorist Bruno Latour saw Trump coming back in 2004. In his essay “Why Has Critique Run Out of Steam?” Latour observed that conservatives had begun using methods similar to those of critical theory to muddy debates around issues, like climate change, that required immediate and decisive action. Conservatives were casting doubt on the reality of planetary warming by pointing to “the lack of scientific certainty” around the issue. Latour had made a career questioning “scientific certainty” and worried that his critical “weapons” had been “smuggled” to the other side:

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Russell Smith: How postmodernism is infiltrating public life and policy
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Apr. 18, 2017 2:58PM EDT

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French intellectuals lament loss of influence as populism surges, Financial Times, 21 April 2017

National Front has given voice to much of working class once represented by the left

Sipping a coffee at Le Rouge Limé café in central Paris, Michael Foessel, professor of philosophy at the École Polytechnique, harks back to a time when leftwing intellectuals really mattered.

Long gone are the days, he says, of Pierre Bourdieu leading strikes by railway workers, Michel Foucault shifting the debate on prison reforms, or Émile Zola and his plea for justice during the Dreyfus Affair.

“We are no longer the intellectual leaders of this country,” says the 42-year-old, wearing jeans and a tweed jacket. “In the media, it is the conservative voices that make a big impact. In politics, it is the technocrats.”

He is talking just ahead of an election that has been dominated by the rise of populist far-right leader Marine Le Pen, who, through a blend of nativism and economic nationalism, has given a voice to much of the disenfranchised working class once represented by the left.

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