Gary Gutting

in Foucault

Published in print March 2005 | ISBN: 9780192805577
Published online September 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191776113 | DOI:

Series: Very Short Introductions


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Foucault is mostly regarded as a philosopher, despite the fact that most of his books were histories. He characterized his historic works first as ‘archaeology’ and then later as ‘genealogy’. What did he mean by archaeology? ‘Archaeology’ considers why Foucault defined his writing in these terms and what it shows us about his ideas. His notion of an archaeology of thought is closely linked to the modernist literary idea of language as a source of thought rather than an instrument of expression. Foucault was interested in the idea that every mode of thinking implicitly involves rules that restrict the range of thought. Foucault's archaeology aimed at history without the individual subject.

Keywords: Noam Chomsky; Charles Darwin; René Descartes; Michel Foucault; David Hume; ideas; Immanuel Kant; language; Karl Marx; a priori; Jean-Paul Sartre

Chapter.  3066 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: 20th-Century Philosophy

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