Foucault, Habermas, public and private space

Foucault emphasizes the difference between open, readable sexual discourses, and hidden and coded sexual discourses. This coupled with the ("official") relegation of sexuality to the home/parents' bedroom and to the brothel, away from public spaces, made me think of the last pm theorist we read who was also highly concerned with public and private spaces.

public, legitimation, postmodernism


So right, the money question, "What is Postmodernism?". Once again, we see an attempt to make sense of postmodernism in its relation to the project of modernity and the enlightenment, in Lyotard's case in terms of a general failure of unity. The dialogue of "science", both physical and philosophical, becomes one of many language games, and is unable to prove its own legitimacy. With this failure the hegemony of scientific reasoning, or " scientific" knowledge, is destroyed.

be/seem, organization, women

Habermas posits that "public" and the "private" have evolved as unique, adaptive terms following the inception of their use in Greek everyday life; the re-definition of these words over the course of subsequent historical periods has been a) largely ignored and b) underanalyzed.


I finally got through all three sections of the Habermas' reading (pat on back). One thing I realize is that the last section of the reading seems to mirror the ideas of Adorno and Horkheimer.

In the second section, he details a public sphere that is composed of intellectuals engaged in critical debate. Rationality and reason are their tools which they use frequently in the salons and the coffeehouses. Eventually, their debates transfer over to the political sphere where they can be used to change society.

That is so postmodern...

Habermas begins his paper with the idea that our sense of modern is liquid. "With varying content, the term "modern" again and again expresses the consciousness of an epoch that relates itself to the past of antiquity, in order to view itself as the result of a transition from old to the new." (Habermas p.3) Modern, according to this definition, is not a set time period, but a sense of the current age. What is modern now will be antiquated at some point in the future. With that in mind, how does anything become postmodern?

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