Monday, April 13, 2009

Michel Foucault: "So Is It Important to Think?"

Thought does exist, both beyond and underneath systems and edifices of discourse. It is something that is often hidden but always drives everyday behaviors. There is always a little thought occurring even in the most stupid institutions; there is always thought even in silent habits. Criticism consists in uncovering that thought and trying to change it: showing that things are not as obvious as people believe, making it so that what is taken for granted is no longer taken for granted. To practise criticism is to make harder those acts which are now too easy... [A]s soon as people begin to no longer be able to think things the way they have been thinking them, transformation becomes at the same time very urgent, very difficult and entirely possible.

-- Michel Foucault, (1981) [2000] "So is it important to think?" in In J. Faubion, ed., Power (New York: New Press, 2000), pp. 160-1.

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