Abstract

This thesis responds to the questions "With the empirical, 'found' world prevalent as the paradigm for all valid knowledge, what happened to the relevance of the human in knowledge? Is there an alternative that does not divorce the knower from the knowing?" The ideas of Edmund Husserl (1859-1938) and Michel Foucault (1926-1984), two thinkers traditionally viewed as rivals in continental philosophy and social theory, animate these questions. Both philosophers critique the taken-for-granted aspects of the world: Husserl through the constituting subject and Foucault through the socially, linguistically, and historically constituted subject. Rather than an either-or that oversimplifies the subject, a dialogue and a symbiosis between these two thinkers point to the foundation of an active, meaning-endowing subject in which this subject is enmeshed in inter-subjective power relations and in which certain knowledges are subjugated to others. Through a combined critique, it is possible to continue an investigation beyond a discursive level, to desediment more layers of knowledge, and to continue to critique the always-already there in order to understand enduring constitutions and the subject's becoming.

Disciplines

Sociology

Included in

Sociology Commons

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