Abstract (Summary)
The thesis is a comparison of main thoughts of Martin Heidegger (1889-1976) and Michel Foucault (1926-1984). Foucault is the philosopher of power but this theme is often overlooked in Heidegger´s work. In the first chapter these writer´s conceptions of power are compared and it is shown that both of them reject the idea of an autonomous human subject. Instead of this humanist perspective they consider the human being as part of a machinery of relations between people, institutions and technology that is not controllable by humans. The second and the third chapter describe the consequences for the historicity of thinking. For Heidegger and Foucault history (as res gestae) is something unseperable from language, it happens as language. The power relations form the rules of languages spoken in a particular cultural and historical field, i.e. they determine and produce the historical truth. It is discussed which implications this standpoint has for both writer´s historiography and its status of truth (they make different claims). The fourth chapter is the most important one because it deals with the role of art in history and the role of the artist in a world without autonomous subjects. Heidegger and Foucault take different perspectives in different phases of their works but it is characteristic for Heidegger that the work of art is regarded as a language that can produce a new historical truth. Therefore the work of art undermines the actual complex of power and language and it opens space for something new. The early Foucault is similarily enthusiastic about the role of art but then he regards art as just another controlled part of a large machinery. The late Foucault returns to a position closely connected to the early Heidegger´s existentialism. Now the relation of a human being to himself is considered an act of art. The mergence of Heidegger and Foucault can provide us with thoughts which reject a history in terms of progress and continuity. It is a different history that pays attention to power and forces but also to art as a creative relation to oneself and a positive form of power.
Bibliographical Information:


School:University of Cincinnati

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis



Date of Publication:01/01/2001

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