As the book was replete with information to could be discussed, I wanted to focus on a single aspect before I would begin to ramble in the endeavor of creating a response for the whole piece. Hence I just converted some notes I had taken while reading the preface into this response before delving further.
XVI – “Narrowness of Separation”, An Irrelevant Interpretation
The cognized pattern -presence of demarcations due to the empirically observed or contrived discrepancies (hence the separation)- is tautology. A point of inquiry that occurred to me: The reason for Foucault to denote this tautology is its dominance over puerile cognizance*. To unravel this dominance, investigating the lack of the reverse approach would be of use, as why data is sought to be separated into categories rather than be induced into more general entities.
The reasons for relative lack of induction can be designated as (1) accommodation for utility, (2) accommodation for processing in human mind or (3) cerebral orientation for separation.
(1) Utility is the pre-determined pragmatic action for the pre-determined betterment of the community. Here, betterment is bound to be a derived from survival and given an artifical form to transcend the notion of being bound to primal needs. I assert that this aim of transcendence inhibits the efficiency of utility (utility then becomes bound to satisfy both the needs of survival and the needs of artificial devising). Hence, the information that is separated for means of utility can be induced if a set of betterment notions undergo parallel conflation.
(2) Human mind needs shortcuts for efficiency. Hence separations are created for efficient processing of data. This case of separation does not need optimization (unlike for the first case).
(3) If separation of data into arbitrary groups occurs during a lack of both utility and ease of process, then it can be stated that human mind has an inherent orientation to separate data. Since inherent orientations originate from the same basis of survival**, it can be stated that separation of data is actually controlled by the means of controlling actions to accede with survival. I assume that satisfaction is the simplest recurring piece of the control structure for an individual to act in accord with the survival. Thus attaining data in self’s demarcations is satisfactory.
(3 continued) To briefly speculate on this sense of cerebral satisfaction, separation of data forms an exclusivity for the informed -whereas, to juxtapose, the opposite case of inducing the data into general terms disseminates this exclusivity. Hence, it can be stated that satisfaction that aims to ensure survival (material dominance) also exhorts individuals for intellectual dominance. Henceforth, in accord with this train of thought, separation of data, which seems to be a solely intellectual process, is actually a primal urge for human.
* A term of mine that I use for animals’ [can be further generalized], inherent associative pattern recognition as the basis of learning
** It would be utterly arbitrary to state that human, in the midst of its evolution, formed an instinct that was devised to somehow apply only to the term “data” I currently defined within this response.
XVI – “Narrowness of Separation”, My Speculation on the Lingual Aspect
On this section of the foreword, what Foucault calls as transgressing boundaries of imagination is the use of language for denotation. Words, without forming a vicarious empirical image in the mind, are still linked with conceptions.* This case debunks the premise of empirical senses being imperative for any process of human cognizance. I found no basis for the presence of such a premise; moreover, this case depicts the capability of human mind to process abstract concepts through associations.
To further unravel this topic, a baby just learning to use language can be examined.
* To clarify this point, I will provide an example through the word “siren”. When the word “siren” is thought, imagination musters a picture of the mythical creature that can be perceived with senses. It is clear that the recalled image is correlated with the conception “siren”. When only the word “siren” is considered, though -without linking the word to a vicarious image- human mind can still understand that the conception of “siren” is being meant.