Dooyeweerd and Post-Structuralism (Foucault, etc.)
At first sight, we might expect Dooyeweerdian thought to be completely at odds with Post-Structuralism (PS), because of its relativity with respect to truth etc. But, on closer examination, this is not the case. This page looks at the similarities and differences.
This page is only just started.
See also page on situating Foucault in relation to Dooyeweerd.
- PS is radically critical of humanism; so is Dooyeweerd. It criticises humanism on the grounds that [Weedon, 1988:21] "humanism presupposes an essence at the heart of the individual which is unique, fixed and coherent." Likewise, though for different reasons and from a different direction, Dooyeweerd would deny that there is an 'essence at the heart of the individual'.
- PS sees "The individual is both the site for a possible range of subjectivity and, at any particular moment of thought and speech, a subject, subjected to the regime of meaning of a particular discourse and enabled to act accordingly." [Weedon, 1988:34]. This is amazingly like several of Dooyeweerd's notions:
- "a subject, subjected to" is almost identical to Dooyeweerd's notion of subject, in which he conjoins the two meanings of 'subject' that are to be a centre of proaction and to be subject to aspectual law, and that being subject to aspectual law is what constitutes being a subject.
- "subjected to a regime of meaning" is very like Dooyeweerd's notion that the subject is subjected to a law-sphere. See the similarity between Foucault's regimes of truth and Dooyeweerd's aspects.
- "a regime of meaning" - Notice the centrality of meaning here, and, in the use of 'a' rather than 'the', the implication of diversity of different types of meaning. This is exactly what Dooyeweerd claimed for his aspects: they are 'regimes' of meaning.
- "subjected to a regime of meaning ... and enabled to act accordingly." is very like Dooyeweerd's notion of aspects or law-spheres as that which enables us to "act according" to the meaning of the aspect.
- "meaning of a particular discourse" - this perhaps points to a difference. To PS meaning is tied in with discourse, whereas to Dooyeweerd, meaning is tied in with the law-side structure of the cosmos. However, let not that diminish the amazing coincidence of views about what it is to be a subject, about regimes or aspects, about meaning and about enabling. In any case, discourse, to Dooyeweerd does carry meaning.
==== to be written
Weedon, 1984 ==== reference to be obtained.
This page is part of a collection of pages that links to various thinkers, within The Dooyeweerd Pages, which explain, explore and discuss Dooyeweerd's interesting philosophy. Email questions or comments would be welcome.
Copyright (c) 2004 Andrew Basden. But you may use this material subject to conditions.
Written on the Amiga and Protext.
Created: 14 August 2004
Last updated: 23 October 2010 link to foucault. 7 September 2017 corrected name, rid counter.