Meaning and power
Cet essai propose un portrait moral et philosophique de Jean-Paul Brodeur. Retraçant divers moments de sa formation en philosophie et rappelant ses premiers intérêts, je propose une esquisse de l’évolution de Jean-Paul Brodeur, à partir d’une critique de la philosophie spéculative menée au nom de l’objectivité des sciences sociales jusqu’à l’adoption d’un point de vue critique au sein même de la discipline criminologique.
This essay presents a moral and philosophical portrait of Jean-Paul Brodeur. By charting various key moments of his philosophical education and reminding the reader what his initial research interests were, I outline how Jean-Paul Brodeur’s thinking developed, starting with a critique of philosophy’s speculative tendencies in the name of social sciences’ objectivity, culminating with a number of criticisms formulated against his own discipline, criminology.
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Notes de la rédaction
Translation by Joseph Grades
Notes de l'auteur
This text is the revised version of my speech given at the conference in tribute to Jean-Paul Brodeur held on April 14, 2011. I took some of the themes from my preface in the special issue of the journal Criminologie, titled “Criminologie et philosophie. Quelques remarques sur la pensée de Jean-Paul Brodeur, Avant-propos,” Jean-Paul Brodeur d’hier à aujourd’hui, Criminologie, vol. 44, no 1 (2011) 7-17. I would like to thank Benoit Dupont for having invited me here to give my speech in another format. All the references from the article are mentioned in the journal.
1Hearing my colleagues speak before me allows me to appreciate the place I was given in this tribute to our late friend. My place is modest and is one of a classmate and an old friend. The resounding names we hear today are those of admired scholars and renowned specialists but mainly they are friends, like Jean-Paul, working in this vast field of justice. Jean-Paul’s conversations with each of you, his American, Canadian and French counterparts, were a part of this never ending dialog. It is an honor for me to be here in your presence, but most of all I am grateful to meet those of you who spoke with Jean-Paul and continued this extensive rigorous and passion-filled dialog, which nourished his drive. I would like to say hello to all of you. It is a pleasure meeting those of you who I have not met before and seeing others again. I am also happy to be speaking along two of Jean-Paul’s students, Stéphane Leman-Langlois and Samuel Tanner. This is significant to me because we have told each other how much we would have liked to have been each other’s students, as all true friends would.
2Since I work in another field, it is with much humility that I speak before you. But is that field really so different? Are the stage and the challenges related to the justice imperative not the shared task of philosophers and all who are concerned with the question of violence? While preparing this tribute, I became interested in the slow process of detachment visible in Jean-Paul’s research as it separated these new objects, that of criminology as a subject of humanities from philosophy, his first choice of study pursued while we were close friends here at the Université de Montréal. On top of this hill [where the campus is located], we often paused to take a break before walking back down the wooden stairs that led us to the Édouard-Montpetit Boulevard. We were students of revered professors, notably Paul Ricœur who was later Jean-Paul’s PhD supervisor in Paris.
3These professors taught us during a period of free thinking in Quebec, which was extracting itself from the intellectual mud of academic Thomism, a topic Jean-Paul would later write important essays about. I would like to begin my tribute to Jean-Paul with a memory of peace : the rumblings of the world appeared removed to us, as the serenity of the philosophical doctrines that were proposed to us, though they had already been subjected to the major critiques of the sixties, consumed our minds. The world that presented itself to us seemed a place of such comprehension and abode for our happiness that I cannot remember ever feeling a sense of urgency to take action. Others have described our generation’s lyricism as a form of candor. Today, I see it as the result of post-war peace and the constructive efforts of the Quiet Revolution. To build and contribute was without a doubt necessary, but to understand was the primary challenge. Maybe our generation, those who today are my and Jean-Paul’s age, was lyrical, but we were also the first to want to study with so much purpose. This mission to understand encompassed several dimensions in our lives. Among them, moving to a European place of study was the most important.
4The Vietnam War and the Quebec liberation movements had not forced our consciousness to a point where we felt we had to make a decision. Others were on Marxist militant paths, for example the magazine Parti Pris. Our friend did not choose this direction. During this period, Jean-Paul became fascinated with the question of language, particularly in Wittgenstein’s thought, to which he dedicated his Master’s research. Analytical philosophy, a topic we were only taught in small doses, interested him a lot. It was new, stimulating and provided those who wanted to learn it with great tools to critique religious metaphysics, an important subject in our education. I want to make it clear that Jean-Paul’s philosophical choices were precise and deliberate from a very early age: he was not tempted by hermeneutic trends, and was only interested in Heidegger’s ideas as they related to his participation in Nazi ideology. Nothing fascinated Jean-Paul more in the history of ideas, besides his passion for his dear Spinoza, than a philosopher wandering away from all reason. For him analyzing language was primarily a tool able to break the power of illusions. He was never religious or tempted by the reconversion of scholastic metaphysics in phenomenology, as was the case for many of us. His stance was clear, stubborn and was only growing more profound.
5When Jean-Paul decided to write his doctoral thesis on Spinoza’s ideas, two perspectives came together in his work. The first was to submit Spinoza’s discourse to the process of linguistic analysis. He had read all Spinoza’s scholarly works and had made the assumption very early that the types of knowledge at the heart his metaphysics corresponded to three types of discursiveness that differ according to the quality of their demonstrative power. There would be much to say about Jean-Paul’s meeting with Paul Ricoeur, from whom everything distanced him in the beginning. Jean-Paul greatly admired Ricoeur’s works on Husserl, he was however less interested in his hermeneutic side. Nevertheless, during this period Paul Ricoeur found himself developing an interest in analytical philosophy, mainly due to the staggering blows of French structuralism. His vast project on understanding meaning would bring about several important books. Jean-Paul attended Ricoeur’s seminars during these years when discussions on hermeneutic approaches were liveliest. He was there at the same time as Jacques Derrida, a philosopher a few years his senior, in whom Paul Ricoeur recognized exceptional talent and his greatest challenger.
6Another analytical perspective must also be added to this one. The engagement with Spinoza’s thought concerning evil and the creation of a deterministic ethics. When we revisit Jean-Paul’s thesis, defended in December 1975 and unfortunately still unpublished, we see that his standpoint on whether philosophy can contribute to understanding the ethics of evil remains a chasm for the analytical approach of language. Everything that could be revealed of the structure of Spinoza’s dialogue was, but several pages described a form of anxiety and moments of despair in the face of the decline of metaphysics into a self-centered universe. How to overcome what could only appear to him as a form of sterility? This question consumed him.
7His first years teaching in the department of philosophy at the Université du Québec à Montréal, just recently founded in 1969 and where he was integrated upon his return from Paris, were devoted to furthering the critique of language. Jean-Paul was very interested in aspects of analytic philosophy as a means of connecting to ideas created in the French language because the relationship with the Anglo-Saxon way of thinking in our society was so complicated. He was part of a private seminar, held in Montreal by Alan Montefiore, an Oxford philosopher very engaged in this type of dialog who chose to work on human relations. But very quickly Jean-Paul had to face the fact that despite his intrinsic interest, this philosophical dialog was not allowing him to engage in the ethical direction that his thoughts were decidedly taking him. The bulk of his energy was then devoted to completing his thesis, but I understood very early that the philosophical environment here made him hopeless: his critique of academic Thomism attracted harsh criticism from those who still supported it, and he did not find in the prevailing currents of German thought that which would have allowed him to renew his philosophical engagement. Why he did not become a Spinoza specialist though everything was pointing him in that direction is not the least bit mysterious: Jean-Paul held erudition and mastering languages in highest regard. He always encouraged me, even though I had chosen the austere path of Greek philology as a course of study. Nevertheless, he was not made to live a scholarly life, deep within him lived the need to be implicated, thus I was not at all surprised when he expressed to me his growing interest for criminology.
8This decision was soon confirmed as it fed off of Jean-Paul’s almost constant reflection on the relationship between humanities and philosophy. When Jean-Paul decided to leave behind the philosophical future he had imagined for himself as a child, it was not as much philosophy that was found disqualified, as the honor that was to be conferred to a kind of truth he judged unproductive. I noticed this judgment was a recurring subject in his conversations but I did not envision to what extent it affected him. In fact there was another type of truth, the truth of the humanities and social sciences. Our generation was immersed in these important discussions, to which Paul Ricoeur as well as the philosopher Peter Winch contributed. In Winch’s important 1958 essay “The Idea of Social Science and its relation to Philosophy”, the British thinker, an avid Wittgenstein reader, demonstrated the inevitable nature of the transformation of philosophical knowledge about humans. While we read the essay we ask ourselves: “Will there be anything left to say for philosophy when the social sciences will have told us what a human being is, what violence is and what human passion is?” Many philosophers got involved in these questions, particularly during this period when new humanities paradigms were being constructed along with the development of their particular epistemologies. Jean-Paul was passionate about their work, as he was about everything derived from structural anthropology and theories about society. In this period, we witnessed an extensive process of detachment and shifting that led to complete autonomy for the social sciences. But philosophy’s instability had however left remnants and opened new space for philosophical questioning. Several thinkers, Michael Foucault and Anthony Giddens for example, refused to adhere to a single discipline, they attested within their work to the transformation that was taking place. Jean-Paul moved with ease on this ground. He could freely critique metaphysics while recognizing that philosophy was not completely disqualified. He liked to say that if someone wants to understand something about reality or social relationships philosophers are the wrong people to ask.
9His decision to study something new was final. I knew I would have to get used to seeing him distance himself from the philosophical sphere. This separation, this detachment, manifested itself first in his writing. One of his long forgotten first articles was a devastating but great example of his surprising courage. It was very critical of important structuralist concepts, no matter where they came from. He attacked the semiotic work of Julia Kristeva when she was at the height of her glory. The article deconstructed, if I dare say, the post-modernist literary methods in France. Yet, looking back, these methods were the leading linguistic paradigms of our generation. Innumerable were the seminars devoted to what we call “French theory” today, a complex mix of semiotic, psychoanalysis and formal aesthetics. It was impossible to think outside of this literary structuralism, whose imposing formalism had a considerable influence on the construction of social science theories. Yet this structuralism claimed to adhere to philosophy and even posed as its unavoidable legacy. This text by Jean-Paul, which appeared in a book we published together Culture et Language, a book that is surely forgotten today, still retains its importance. Jean-Paul considered it to be a sort of manifesto, because in the work he introduces us to a young philosopher disappointed by the ease with which postmodern epistemologies reel off their discourse disregarding the facts. To put it simply, he was already convinced that philosophy would not, in the future or at least the near future, be freed from the appreciation of the construction of these objects through empirical knowledge, or by way of the humanities. Jean-Paul put it on trial even if it was not a completely fair one because he refused all critical radicalization within this structuralism, which was primarily literary in his eyes. I will not get into this complex debate, I will only point out that later he acknowledges his use of exaggeration in this work.
10Jean-Paul’s work begins at this crossroads between philosophy and humanities, at a moment in Quebec’s history of thought marked by fundamental transformations. When we look at it from the beginning, we can already see at a very young age, when he still defined himself as a philosopher, his constant concern to make philosophy notice the results of scientific research on all subjects undermined by bias and doctrinaire positions. One must not forget that in Quebec, we were the first philosophy students to leave behind, in an undoubtedly timid fashion, the scholastic Thomism that had been the backbone of philosophical teaching dating back to the nineteenth century. I do not wish to review his entire bibliography; I merely want to indicate the power of the gesture by which our friend removed himself from philosophy. On the one hand, he thoroughly criticized the dogmatic authority of scholastic orthodox philosophy. On the other, he tried to show the importance of being open to empirical science as well as listening and welcoming data and theories from the humanities.
11How else can we explain that he had followed up his critique of Julia Kristeva by a critique of Michel Foucault? If we review his 1976 report on Michel Foucault’s work, Discipline and Punish, we recognize a strengthening of his critical stance. We feel both admiration for the literary construction of this exemplary philosophical text and a constant irritation regarding what appears as flippancy. Taken by this book, which played a crucial role in his life, Jean-Paul sought to comprehend what made it possible. He read and reread this masterpiece, which he admitted he would have liked to have written himself. But he also said that any philosopher that would have written only this book would not have made much of a contribution to knowledge about surveillance and punishment. Do we realize to what extent this prophetic statement speaks of Jean-Paul’s future work? He was going to become an important successor of Foucault, less by his method than by his emancipatory critical stance in what he called “critical criminology.” He could only sense this. For Jean-Paul, Foucault was a very ambivalent object of admiration. Then by focusing on the concept of Jeremy Bentham’s Panopticon and Thomas Hobbes’ social doctrine of which he knew Leviathan by heart, he continued growing further away from Spinoza. He certainly possessed all of the philosophical knowhow to understand Michel Foucault’s proposition, but he knew the project to control society could no longer be criticized only by philosophical means. That is why he dared to severely criticize Foucault’s book by showing that he limited himself by proposing a purely historical and speculative genealogy, a work disregarding the facts.
12At this decisive turning point for Jean-Paul, we find in him this courage to accept the facts. First of all the courage to seek them, courage derived from the patience of observation and the rigor of a poised theorization. But also, for him, as he was still immersed in the elation of Spinoza’s metaphysics, courage that required the humility of philosophical ideas when faced with the facts. A memory comes to mind of a recurring conversation we had about a text that fascinated me. I spent a lot of time on Plato’s The Republic and more specifically its political philosophy. The police and the army’s place are central in this dialogue which makes Plato the first thinker in the history of ideas to reflect on coercion. His ideas transformed themselves and this change interested Jean-Paul. In The Republic, Plato thinks the police, he calls them “auxiliaries” of the governors, the famous philosopher guardians, must share the virtues and be comprised of the best citizens. In Laws, Plato’s last work, he proposes the creation of a Nocturnal Council. Plato, inspired by the sycophants, informers who are paid if they denounce others and the trial rules in their favor, asks citizens to denounce criminals. This is a terrible passage. At the Nocturnal Council the insurgents and protesters, people about who something can be said by simply putting a piece of paper in a box, are taken for interrogation. To see a philosopher as instrumental and of such importance and brilliance as Plato suggest such totalitarian action is daunting for the democratic convictions of our time.
13Jean-Paul liked to demonstrate the similarities between Laws and the Inquisition trials. He had studied all of the mechanisms of these trials and was especially fond of their characters in the history of music and literature. The infamous scene with the Cardinal Inquisitor from Verdi’s Don Carlos brought tears to his eyes. I liked to remind him that modern erudition had been affected by this development, particularly Francis Macdonald Cornford, an editor of Plato’s works, who envisioned the following scene. If Plato’s Nocturnal Council was implemented, we can imagine that Socrates would have been summoned before the Council and that Plato could have had a seat on the Council. “And then,” Cornford writes, “he would have realized how unsocratic he became…” After hearing this, Jean-Paul often used this remarkable quote, remarkable for its ruthless severity. All of these totalitarian methods, from Plato’s Nocturnal Council, the trials of the Inquisition, Benthams’s Panopticon to generalized surveillance, were for Jean-Paul the symptoms of an obsession with control and evidence of the philosophical inability to demonstrate their futility. When I look at his extensive library of books today, I can only imagine how much his ideas were already moving towards this aporia: how can we advance the philosophy of Kant and Hobbes in a direction of discourse that socially can be both progressive and realist? How do we avoid Stalin?
14As his work continues, elaborated in the heart of the young science he adopted, it demonstrates how he wanted to answer these questions. Even though philosophy can find in social reality matters to develop hypotheses about fundamental principles, Jean-Paul was fully aware that our era could not make it philosophically by limiting itself to suggesting the legitimacy of a conflict with the social sciences. Epistemology had its limits. He expressed true admiration for Jürgen Habermas’s ideas on this subject, but he did not believe that philosophers should aim to be better sociologists than sociologists themselves. This is a harsh statement, where the critique of philosophical theory is associated with a belief in social sciences’ superior legitimacy. I do not believe that Habermas deserved such a verdict. One of the last books Jean-Paul and I discussed was the essay by Habermas on truth and justification, an approach that Jean-Paul judged more fruitful than his critical pieces. We could discuss it for hours, but Jean-Paul’s idea is worth retaining: if philosophers can still operate despite these mounting interpretative paradigms that are provided by the social sciences, it would be to produce what he called a sober epistemology, capable of discussing and describing the true conditions of the advent of the humanities discourse. He read Richard Rorty with a great deal of interest. Rorty had a debate in the US with Hilary Putnam on questions concerning truth. He was a great observer and paid close attention to the movement that took place between our disciplines. He claimed the legitimacy of critical power founded on knowledge of facts for the social sciences.
15One of Jean-Paul’s favorite expressions, borrowed from Voltaire’s tale Micromégas, was Sirius’s point of view. Those of you who spoke with him knew how often he used it. He always said : “Ah ! Mais ça c’est le point de vue de Sirius !” “Ah! That’s Sirius’s point of view!” What is Sirius’s point of view? It is the position of detached observer, a person looking on from a distance. Like Voltaire’s hero, the philosopher walks the earth with a dignified, arrogant and relatively daft perspective. For our friend, Sirius had the best possible philosophical standpoint: believing that omniscience of reality is possible, and that if omniscience can be reached, then all of humanity’s pain could be taken care of. Of course, only philosophy can profess that.
16Jean-Paul had a very similar point of view on these questions to the ones found in Persian Letters by Montesquieu, another of his favorite classic texts: the idea that for each assumption being verified, reality puts forth changes and modifications that give rise to new assumptions. The cardinal rule of modernity is to be able to change one’s point of view. To address these questions he could apply the methods from the social sciences, requiring a shift in philosophical views, but he considered it equally necessary to remember that Sirius’s point of view could become that of these sciences themselves: reaching a sort of plateau where their hegemony would come to exclude philosophy, they too could believe that they are omniscient and suggest a science capable of accomplishing Leibniz and Spinoza’s project. A paradox that is most unlikely but that reveals the epistemological threshold where Jean-Paul liked to be: henceforth philosophy as well as the humanities are in a period of theorization that he called imperfect theorization and totalizing speculative ambition must be abandoned, which is philosophy’s worst legacy. There are several examples in his work of the appreciation for imperfect theorization, or the idea that today humanities are inferior to all omniscient theorizations and especially in regards to the adoption of Sirius’s point of view.
17I would like to finish this tribute in the form of a memorial by returning to a theme that means a lot to me. For all of us, Jean-Paul was both extraordinarily balanced and capable of making the harshest critiques. His view of our world, one of generalized control and the “policing web” that would later become the title of his posthumous book, remained that of an intellectual concerned with maintaining confidence in scholarly work. It was important for him to continue searching for exactly where something was going to shift and what adjustments were going to be necessary. Reading his last articles shows this growing preoccupation, particularly by introducing ideas on the need for this adjustment.
18The fact that Jean-Paul was able to put together such a radical critique, regarding Michel Foucault and Jürgen Habermas, displays how he was responsible for his own position. He knew that if he took such a radical position, which can also be found in his work as a utopia of freedom, he would have to compromise. Instead, we see in his work, particularly when it touches upon the doctrine of freedom, the promotion of democracy and civil rights, the idea of necessary adjustments as a reminder of reality’s supremacy. We saw the importance of this in our French colleagues’ presentations, which showed us this aspect in police theory. One of the most salient examples is certainly his reflection on the question of the legality of means: how does one judge and evaluate the illegality of means put forth for so-called legal ends? He was obsessed by this question, which addresses electronic surveillance as much as torture, because he considered it both an essential question from an ethical standpoint and an aporia.
19Jean-Paul’s interest for all aspects of what we can call an alternative theory is explained by the daily confrontation between criminology and these ethical questions. He constantly spoke about this alternative to the prison system and the control system, alternating between a skeptical views and a hope for the future. When he addresses the need for change, he does not know if he is speaking as a moralist addressing people who will implement regulations, or contrarily, if he is addressing philosophers who will have to make compromises to moral obligations which are outrageous and consistent with Sirius’s point of view. The development of this concern for change seems very rich to me. It inspires every moment in his work where we feel something is shifting intellectually: not only in the desire to understand, but by accepting to alter philosophical inquiry in relation to reality and inversely to alter the propositions of the humanities in light of philosophical ambition.
20In several of his works, Jean-Paul’s plea to prioritize research on the judiciary system calls for intensive study of the criminalization process. Everything that appeared to him capable of releasing criminology from what he perceived as an obsession with the description of crimes as acts, to move instead toward a discussion of the agents of those crimes, all of this was derived from his philosophical education. Did he not take from philosophy the idea that the agent, particularly from his work on Spinoza’s metaphysics, as a subject of his own action is what needs to be understood? This perspective is also derived from a call for change, as each era presents new conditions in which to understand internal imbalance, moral distress, the origin of violence, and in general the difficulty of practicing freedom in conditions that are neither easy nor simple. The philosophy of our time shows a very large investment in the field of moral psychology, where advances are being made in the direction our friend hoped for.
21One of contemporary philosophy’s main challenges in these fields is to confront the plurality of hypotheses. This can be done by suggesting the truth of a particular explanation and by confronting it with the idea that if this diversity persists for a long period of time and is not resolved, fundamental pluralism must be accepted. Faced with this unstable pluralism, in a given field of philosophy for example, we encounter the objection to relativism. Rorty and Putnam’s debate is one of many examples of these types of discussions. In his article from 1986 Provocation, an article I have read numerous times, Jean-Paul vehemently insists on the inevitability of this pluralism: “…criminology that adjusts to the shifting and heterogeneous nature of the different types of criminality is inevitability plural.” This conclusion can appear unbearable in philosophy because it renounces the monist ambition included in the knowledge project. And, it corresponds, at least for a given period, to diversity in the quest and promotion of assumptions. This statement actually brings us back to the philosophical debate surrounding the social science explanatory project, as methodologically different from the natural science project. Here we observe in Jean-Paul’s work how the critique of philosophy was never unequivocal or one-sided for him because it was always accompanied by a critique of the weakness of the critique of social sciences themselves, and in that specific case, the naiveté of their descriptive undertakings. Others spoke of Jean-Paul’s severe view on what he called “sloppy thinking” and when he spoke of the poor critique of sciences which he turned his own intellectual project into, he could not forget how he could rely on the philosophical resources that continued to nourish him. This dialectic manifests a moral conscience. It may be one of the most fundamental characteristics of Jean-Paul’s personality, the pursuit for a balance in judgment of one another’s intellectual contributions. Placed as he was at a critical crossroad, he could not avoid seeing himself as the Janus Bifrons he had become with so much responsibility regardless which side of him we were considering when conversing with him.
22Jean-Paul inherited two responsibilities from Michel Foucault; he had the mission of confronting the norms and rules. The model for reading contemporary society is in fact radically novel. This is because in our societies the origin of norms is exactly what we should be trying to understand since they are no longer created by the community itself as in pre-modern societies. Foucault claimed that norms are imposed by an outside device, as we see mainly in his posthumous courses still to be published. I was amazed to see to what extent Jean-Paul followed Michel Foucault’s publication of the Collège de France lectures, since we had spoken about the subject on several occasions. These lectures concerned mainly Plato’s political dialogs Laws,Statesman, and book VIII of TheRepublic, which truly fascinated us. In short, their main goal is control, mastery, governance and discipline. Foucault wanted to show how philosophers responded to the question of control and how they were unable to go from an external authoritarian and totalitarian perspective to an internal democratic perspective.
23Jean-Paul was very interested in the concept of norms that circulate in moral and political philosophy today, particularly with the arrival of naturalism which can be oppressing in some respects. The idea that norms are the result of an evolution that we are unfamiliar with, a very rich philosophical stance, fuels a philosophy that agrees, in other words, with its own definitive ignorance concerning the emergence of norms. This in discussion with another, which seems much closer to Jean-Paul’s ideas: norms are not the product of an evolution of which we will be prisoners and undergo a terrible determinism. Instead, they are the results of a few imposing a particular model of repressive devices, which criminology must oppose. I believe this point is an example of the important critical contribution he made in most of his works but principally at the end of his life. At this crucial junction, the criminologist takes the risk of becoming moral and has the audacity to say: "This is how it must be done” and the philosopher states: “I did not convince you that the norm should be such, but given that criminologists state it as such, let us take a step!” In his article from 2003, he speaks about the concept of poor evaluation, a concept that circulated for several years in post-metaphysical European thought. I think he was talking about this sober and impartial evaluation, destined to slow the arrogant control over meaning, as much in social sciences as in philosophy.
24One day we had a conversation, I am telling you this because if he were here I surly would not dare to. One of the many conversations we had over the years following his decision to quit teaching philosophy. It was a dramatic announcement for me. I had never met anyone who possessed the philosophical intelligence he did, both historically by his richness of his culture and socially through the strength of his criticism. I could only imagine the loss philosophy would suffer, and for myself of course. I could not envision anything else. As if he had known, he encouraged me to see things differently. As I mentioned earlier, he constantly read Wittgenstein, interested as much by thoughts on language as by the pursuit of a pure form of life, just, and devoted to the well-being of others. He really liked Investigations where he already saw a theory for investigating, and he told me: “There are two types of philosophers, those who focus on meaning and those who focus on power. Is this distinction not necessary? For a certain period of time I thought I was working on meaning but now I know that I will focus on power.”
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Georges Leroux, « Meaning and power », Champ pénal/Penal field [En ligne], Vol. IX | 2012, mis en ligne le 11 mai 2012, Consulté le 21 mai 2013. URL : http://champpenal.revues.org/8268 ; DOI : 10.4000/champpenal.8268Haut de page
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