- Publisher: Cambridge University Press
- Online publication date: June 2012
- Print publication year: 1989
- Online ISBN: 9781139172141
This book is an important introduction to the 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, Professor Gutting 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 also casts Foucault in a new light, relating his work to two major but neglected influences: Gaston Bachelard's philosophy of science and Georges Canguilhem's history of science. This perspective yields a new and valuable understanding of science, balancing and complementing the more common view that he was primarily a social critic and theorist. An excellent guide for those first approaching Foucault's work, the book will also be a challenging interpretation and evaluation for those already familiar with his writings.
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