The Philosopher-Historian as Cartographer

in Sartre, Foucault, and Historical Reason

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print February 2005 | ISBN: 9780226254708
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226254722 | DOI:
The Philosopher-Historian as Cartographer

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Foucault is a spatializing thinker. This chapter considers Foucault's spatialized reasoning as a method of historical understanding and as a strategy in his ongoing struggle against traditional intellectual history, and finally as a self-referential tool, sketching an initial turn of the compass and sextant on his own work the better to understand the “spaces” charted by his life-long project. The chapter analyzes the relation between the various epistemes that Foucault uncovers in Western thought since the Renaissance, arguing that an aesthetic relation of “fittingness” obtains among them that offer a kind of unity and intelligibility to archaeological history while respecting the empirical and aleatory nature of the discontinuities that fragment such an historical account.

Keywords: philosophers; historians; cartographers; Foucault; spatialized reasoning

Chapter.  6721 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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