When one defines "order" as a sorting of priorities, it becomes beautifully clear as to what Foucault is doing here. With virtuoso showmanship, he weaves an intensely complex history of thought. He dips into literature, art, economics and even biology in The Order of Things, possibly one of the most significant, yet most overlooked, works of the twentieth century. Eclipsed by his later work on power and discourse, nonetheless it was The Order of Things that established Foucault's reputation as an intellectual giant. Pirouetting around the outer edge of language, Foucault unsettles the surface of literary writing. In describing the limitations of our usual taxonomies, he opens the door onto a whole new system of thought, one ripe with what he calls "exotic charm". Intellectual pyrotechnics from the master of critical thinking, this book is crucial reading for those who wish to gain insight into that odd beast called Postmodernism, and a must for any fan of Foucault.
Author: Gary Gutting
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 1989-09-29
This is an important introduction to and critical interpretation of the work of the major French thinker, Michel Foucault. Through comprehensive and detailed analyses of such important texts as The History of Madness in the Age of Reason, The Birth of the Clinic, The Order of Things, and The Archaeology of Knowledge, the author provides a lucid exposition of Foucault's "archaeological" approach to the history of thought, a method for uncovering the "unconscious" structures that set boundaries on the thinking of a given epoch. The book casts Foucault in a new light, relating his work to Gaston Bachelard's philosophy of science and Georges Canguilhem's history of science. This perspective yields a new and valuable understanding of Foucault as a historian and philosopher of science, balancing and complementing the more common view of him as primarily a social critic and theorist.
In France, a country that awards its intellectuals the status other countries give their rock stars, Michel Foucault was part of a glittering generation of thinkers, one which also included Sartre, de Beauvoir and Deleuze. One of the great intellectual heroes of the twentieth century, Foucault was a man whose passion and reason were at the service of nearly every progressive cause of his time. From law and order, to mental health, to power and knowledge, he spearheaded public awareness of the dynamics that hold us all in thrall to a few powerful ideologies and interests. Arguably his finest work, Archaeology of Knowledge is a challenging but fantastically rewarding introduction to his ideas.
Author: Michel Foucault
Release Date: 2013-01-30
Michel Foucault examines the archeology of madness in the West from 1500 to 1800 - from the late Middle Ages, when insanity was still considered part of everyday life and fools and lunatics walked the streets freely, to the time when such people began to be considered a threat, asylums were first built, and walls were erected between the "insane" and the rest of humanity.
Author: Michel Foucault
Release Date: 2012-04-18
Genre: Social Science
In this brilliant work, the most influential philosopher since Sartre suggests that such vaunted reforms as the abolition of torture and the emergence of the modern penitentiary have merely shifted the focus of punishment from the prisoner's body to his soul.
Author: Mark D. Jordan
Publisher: Stanford University Press
Release Date: 2014-11-05
By using religion to get at the core concepts of Michel Foucault's thinking, this book offers a strong alternative to the way that the philosopher's work is read across the humanities. Foucault was famously interested in Christianity as both the rival to ancient ethics and the parent of modern discipline and was always alert to the hypocrisy and the violence in churches. Yet many readers have ignored how central religion is to his thought, particularly with regard to human bodies and how they are shaped. The point is not to turn Foucault into some sort of believer or to extract from him a fixed thesis about religion as such. Rather, it is to see how Foucault engages religious rhetoric page after page—even when religion is not his main topic. When readers follow his allusions, they can see why he finds in religion not only an object of critique, but a perennial provocation to think about how speech works on bodies—and how bodies resist. Arguing that Foucault conducts experiments in writing to frustrate academic expectations about history and theory, Mark Jordan gives equal weight to the performative and theatrical aspects of Foucault's writing or lecturing. How does Foucault stage possibilities of self-transformation? How are his books or lectures akin to the rituals and liturgies that he dissects in them? Convulsing Bodies follows its own game of hide-and-seek with the agents of totalizing systems (not least in the academy) and gives us a Foucault who plays with his audiences as he plays for them—or teaches them.
The desire to classify the world has always been a need for mankind: We collect, reflect and sort the things. Michel Foucault extensively wrote about this phenomena in his book Order of Things - An Archaeology of the Human Sciences, one of the core works that anchor the French Structuralist school of thought. The Finnish artist Mikko Kuorinki interpreted Foucault's title literally and put all words of the book in alphabetical order: From A to Zoophytorum. In the tradition of conceptional art, Kuorinki re-ordered knowledge that is already available. He decomposed a text to an alphabetical material - and composed at the same time a new text, which offers us a very unusual view into the thinking of the French philosopher.
Author: John Tyler Bonner
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Release Date: 2018-06-05
"John Tyler Bonner is a biologist who not only knows a great deal about plants and animals but has thought long and carefully about problems of evolution. . . . The pleasure of the book is in the wealth of examples of communication and teaching, many effectively illustrated with drawings or photographs".--J. Z. Young, The London Review of Books"The great virtue of the book is the re-creation of culture and culture-mimicking behaviors throughout the animal kingdom, an essential step in understanding the probable origins and unique qualities of human sociality. Professor Bonner's style is, as always, witty, and wholly lucid".--E. O. Wilson, Harvard University"[Bonner] structures his fascinating book as a survey of culture in the animal kingdom, marching up the venerable chain of being toward bigger brains, increasing behavioral complexity, and freedom from rigid genetic programs".--Stephen Jay Gould, The New York Review of Books
Author: Ian Hodder
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Release Date: 2012-05-08
A powerful and innovative argument that explores the complexity of the human relationship with material things, demonstrating how humans and societies are entrapped into the maintenance and sustaining of material worlds Argues that the interrelationship of humans and things is a defining characteristic of human history and culture Offers a nuanced argument that values the physical processes of things without succumbing to materialism Discusses historical and modern examples, using evolutionary theory to show how long-standing entanglements are irreversible and increase in scale and complexity over time Integrates aspects of a diverse array of contemporary theories in archaeology and related natural and biological sciences Provides a critical review of many of the key contemporary perspectives from materiality, material culture studies and phenomenology to evolutionary theory, behavioral archaeology, cognitive archaeology, human behavioral ecology, Actor Network Theory and complexity theory
Author: Paul Veyne
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Release Date: 2016-03-23
Michel Foucault and Paul Veyne: the philosopher and the historian. Two major figures in the world of ideas, resisting all attempts at categorization. Two timeless thinkers who have long walked and fought together. In this short book Paul Veyne offers a fresh portrait of his friend and relaunches the debate about his ideas and legacy. ‘Foucault is not who you think he is’, writes Veyne; he stood neither on the left nor on the right and was frequently disowned by both. He was not so much a structuralist as a sceptic, an empiricist disciple of Montaigne, who never ceased in his work to reflect on 'truth games', on singular, constructed truths that belonged to their own time. A unique testimony by a scholar who knew Foucault well, this book succeeds brilliantly in grasping the core of his thought and in stripping away the confusions and misunderstandings that have so often characterized the interpretation of Foucault and his work.
Author: Leonard Lawlor
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 2014-04-21
The Cambridge Foucault Lexicon is a reference tool that provides clear and incisive definitions and descriptions of all of Foucault's major terms and influences, including history, knowledge, language, philosophy and power. It also includes entries on philosophers about whom Foucault wrote and who influenced Foucault's thinking, such as Deleuze, Heidegger, Nietzsche and Canguilhem. The entries are written by scholars of Foucault from a variety of disciplines such as philosophy, gender studies, political science and history. Together, they shed light on concepts key to Foucault and to ongoing discussions of his work today.
Author: Mark G.E. Kelly
Release Date: 2010-06-21
This book is the first to systematically reconstruct Michel Foucault’s political and philosophical thought across his career. It argues, in the areas of epistemology, power, subjectivity, resistance, politics, and ethics, that Foucault’s work represents the articulation of a consistent and progressive philosophical and political viewpoint. The work is thus an important intervention into the field of Foucault studies, where many continue to claim that Foucault’s work is contradictory, nonsensical, or nihilistic.