Talk:Post-structuralism

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Pomo generator[edit]

Removed link to an essay created by a "pomo generator." Either the link is meant to add to the article by pointing to the common accusation that poststructuralist prose is so obscure that it can be, humorously, mimicked exactly by a simple algorithm. Or it's meant to dupe the foolish into believing it's a genuine piece of poststructuralist writing. If the former, then the link should be marked as such and the reader should also be directed to the Sokal hoax. The latter is vandalism in this context.

24.63.27.250 (talk) 06:31, 15 January 2011 (UTC)

Between two camps[edit]

At the end of the section "between two camps" the sentences do not make sense. I lack the understanding to put them together.24.122.81.209 (talk) 00:09, 11 March 2011 (UTC)R. Huxley 10-03-11

Merge French Theory into this article ? VOTE.[edit]

French Theory is only an American and then French name for a part of post-structuralist Fr. philosophers (see for instance : here. I suggest this article to be merged into [[Post-structuralism] (here)]. This merge would provide French Theory the context it lacks to be fully understood. NB : fr:WP pages about these two movements are exactly inverted. (A big one for FT and a small for P-S.)

Your opinion ?

  1. Support. --Hedgehog in the bell (click to ring) 09:08, 1 June 2012 (UTC) (Proposer)

I redirected it here. The supposed article was only 2 sentences. There was nothing there to merge Bhny (talk) 05:50, 6 October 2012 (UTC)

"Post-structuralism" refers to... what, again?[edit]

Bhny's recent revision calls attention to some problems with the definition we have here. Bhny removes a claim that post-structuralism is about denying the possibility of scientifically studying human beings. Bhny's decision makes sense given the article as it stands. Considering the history of the field, however, I think we do need to deal with post-structuralism as something to do with the "human sciences".

I don't think that post-structuralism is exclusively or even primarily about privileging reader over author—if anything, that relationship has more to do with post*modernism*, which I think I still think is different. I'd like us to work on a more positive definition of "post-structuralism", one which might point towards post-structuralism as a creative *expansion* of structuralism.

Also, I find the first sentence as it is—

Post-structuralism is a label formulated by American academics to denote the heterogeneous works of a series of French intellectuals who came to international prominence in the 1960s and '70s.

—to be a little dismissive. I do agree that American academics had a major role in popularizing (and maybe even reifying) "post-structuralism", but I'm not sure that this is the best first sentence. The entire rest of the article belies the implication that post-structuralism is a class so heterogeneous that we cannot define it independently from its status as an academic trend.

The term "structuralism" has clear meaning, revolving around the basic idea that culture is made of structures, and that elements of these structure gain value in relation to each other. These elements & relations can exist on many different levels. In linguistics, for example, you have letters, phonemes, and words. And you can scale up to ideas, myths, etc., in anthropology. These two fields were the major areas of "stucturalism" in France. Perhaps structuralism was never have been as popular as post-structuralism—I'm not sure! At any rate, post-structuralism must involve a critique of these "human sciences".

We should keep in mind here that "structuralism" is really not the major or dominant way of studying humans—structuralism is a late-breaking innovation in the human sciences. So is the post-structuralist critique primarily a critique of structuralism? Or is it a critique of the human sciences, inspired by structuralism but loosening some of the rules? Or is it something else: a new form of philosophical discourse that talks about anything it wants to talk about, using vocabulary from the human sciences, structuralism in particular, while being critical of these?

The article is most likely to be useful (and distinct from "French Theory", which is clearly moreso a cultural phenomenon in American academia) if we tighten the definition and become more clear about the relationship of individual authors to the idea.

  • I would say that Deleuze & Guattari are consummately post-structuralist—their Capitalism and Schizophrenia collaboration uses a non-stop flow of structuralist authors and concepts, while at the same time reworking these concepts, analyzing them locally, and arguing against totalization.
  • Derrida must also be included, as the lead popularizer (with his 1966 essay/lecture "Structure, Sign & Play")
  • Foucault denied the label of "post-structuralist", and we shouldn't discount that fact. The key text would be The Order of Things (1966), which I think is arguably structuralist, not too much post about it. "Structuralist history." The question on the table is still: what causes structures to change across history? But Foucault doesn't really say; he moreso analyzes the structures themselves. Now, I haven't read The Archaeology of Knowledge, so maybe that book reflects Foucault's post-structuralist turn. I'm not sure that there's clear evidence of post-structuralism from any of Foucault's historical works.
  • Jean Baudrillard would definitely be included, because he examines "cultural structures" but with lots of (weird) spin. So, we're getting a structuralist matrix where 'things gain value in relation to each other', but we're also getting backstory on the history of the structure, the role of media used to convey it, and how the structure functions to affect or not affect people's everyday lives under capitalism.
  • Julia Kristeva also seems to fit quite well, using analyses that border on "structuralist", no "post", but add dimensions of meaning and causality from outside the structure (this is based on my readings of Kristeva on 'abjection' and 'femininity'... not sure I'm qualified to comment on her corpus as a whole...)
  • Judith Butler, definitely. (And I think she also belies the idea that post-structuralism much be French.) Gender Trouble is analysis of the structure of gender (again, sticking to structuralist definition of elements/relations) with analysis that questions the boundaries of the structure itself (arguing that "sex" is also governed by signifiers and is not pure signified).
  • Jacques Lacan is a bit of a wild-card, partly because much of his writing comes from during the "structuralist" era (before 1966). Based on what I've read it does make sense to include him, although one might make a case for no "post", or for his thought being different enough as to just be something else.

I don't know much about the other authors here. I wonder about Marshall McLuhan. And, actually Jorge Luis Borges, although the time period for him doesn't fit either. Also I'm sure there are many contemporary "post-structuralists" not represented. Another confusing issue is: has post-structuralism 'sunk in' within certain parts of the academy? And if so could we really distinguish "post-structuralists" from everyone else?

Anyway, the article needs focus and improvement. And if you're reading this, please share your thoughts; we need as many voices as possible contributing to this work. Thanks, groupuscule (talk) 04:35, 6 October 2012 (UTC)

P.S. We also have to deal with the problem where some authors (such as Derrida) call themselves post-structuralist when they use the vocabulary and ideas of structuralism, and others (such as Deleuze) prefer to interpret and redefine "structuralism" from within. (Worth reading: Deleuze's "How do we recognize structuralism?")

Gang of Four?[edit]

Fixed Bhny (talk) 23:34, 21 January 2013 (UTC)

Where it mentions a gang of four in the scholars from both movements section. It actually only mentions three individuals. No idea who the fourth individual should or shouldn't be. But it's definitely an oversite that will want correcting at some point. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.26.249.202 (talk) 14:43, 21 January 2013 (UTC)

Hyphen[edit]

What's with the hyphen? Based on a cursory review of works referencing poststructuralism, it appears that the hyphen was used 10+ years ago, but contemporary publishing and the current NOAD don't. Has there been a discussion about this elsewhere? czar · · 08:07, 2 March 2013 (UTC)

I missed the archive page: Talk:Post-structuralism/Archive_1#Why_the_dash_in_title.3F and Talk:Post-structuralism/Archive_1#Requested_move. The scholarly ref usage numbers have shifted in favor of dropping the hyphen, and I'm suspicious of citogenesis for the opposite effect in regular search results. czar · · 08:20, 2 March 2013 (UTC)

American "academics"[edit]

We should use this term only in ironic quotation marks. Academics belong to a culture, for instance European culture, Japanese culture, Indian culture. But since the very definition of the American Way of Life is the ABSENCE of culture (cf. Baudrillard, de Toqueville et. al), one should not speak of American academics, merely of American publicists or opinion multiplicators. 93.219.144.39 (talk) 16:42, 25 July 2013 (UTC)

We go by what the reliable sources say. Unless your analysis is shown to be something other than original, it qualifies as fringe in terms of actual implementation. czar · · 17:25, 25 July 2013 (UTC)

Matrices (Mathematical Construct) and Post-Structural Symbology[edit]

I'm new to Wikipedia editing, so forgive me if this is the wrong section. Here is an idea...

Matrices hold some data of indefinite size. However, numbers are always changing from one snapshot to another. Does there exist a mathematical construct that defines and stores entries (ie. data) but has no "solid construct"? Consider a matrix or an equation using any symbol set to be a "solid construct". — Preceding unsigned comment added by Vektor-k (talkcontribs) 18:47, 31 July 2013 (UTC)


--Vektor-k (talk) 23:42, 31 July 2013 (UTC)

Frame Problem and Post-Structuralism[edit]

Suppose the existence of an axiom(alpha). Find a frame(beta) such that a finite-state Turing machine can find a solution for every frame(beta) within time(gamma). — Preceding unsigned comment added by Vektor-k (talkcontribs) 18:53, 31 July 2013 (UTC)

0. Why do very fine-grained solutions in small symbol-sets produce very complex-dynamical structures in the entailing laws realm? For example, a simple sum-of-squares solution can produce some very advanced physics effects in the case of classical geometry (you can make a square simply by defining a point).

1. Perhaps a better question based on (0) is to ask: Why are there axioms in the first place? Are axioms mere mental content? It seems that human as well as non-human species use a set of rules to survive. A bird will always fly away from an incoming train, even if they aren't taught to... although a human child needs to learn. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Vektor-k (talkcontribs) 23:35, 31 July 2013 (UTC)

--Vektor-k (talk) 23:42, 31 July 2013 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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