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The Order of Things: Archaeology of the Human Sciences (Social Science Paperbacks) ePub download

by Michel Foucault

  • Author: Michel Foucault
  • ISBN: 0422758906
  • ISBN13: 978-0422758901
  • ePub: 1990 kb | FB2: 1364 kb
  • Language: English
  • Category: Philosophy
  • Publisher: Tavistock Publications Ltd (December 1974)
  • Pages: 416
  • Rating: 4.4/5
  • Votes: 232
  • Format: docx rtf txt azw
The Order of Things: Archaeology of the Human Sciences (Social Science Paperbacks) ePub download

The work attempts to explain the path of Western thought from the fall of the Renaissance and beginning of the Classical age up to the twentieth century while simultaneously illuminating the subconscious notions that undergird the sciences. However, while enriched with an incredible erudition I found Foucault’s postmodern take on empirical sciences more asserted than proven.

I think most scholars and educators in the history of philosophy would put this in the top ten most important philosophical works of the latter half of the 20th Century, despite whether one largely agrees with Foucault's views or not. This is because the work has had enormous influence not just i. . This is because the work has had enormous influence not just in philosophy, but also in literary criticism, historiography, social psychology, theology, and a host of other disciplines within the humanities and social sciences

It was translated into English and published by Pantheon Books in 1970. Foucault had preferred L'Ordre des Choses for the original French title, but changed the title because it had been used by two structuralist works published immediately prior to Foucault's).

The result is nothing less than an archaeology of the sciences that unearths old patterns of meaning and reveals the shocking arbitrariness of our received truths. In the work that established him as the most important French thinker since Sartre, Michel Foucault offers startling evidence that man -man as a subject of scientific knowledge-is at best a recent invention, the result of a fundamental mutation in our culture.

An Archaeology of the Human Sciences Michel Foucault. Translation of Les mots et les choses. Reprint of the 1971 ed. published by Pantheon Books, New York, in series: World of man. A translation of Les Mots et les choses.

With virtuoso showmanship, he weaves an intensely complex history of thought.

Michel Foucault was born on October 15, 1926, in Poitiers, France, and was educated at the Sorbonne, in Paris

Michel Foucault was born on October 15, 1926, in Poitiers, France, and was educated at the Sorbonne, in Paris. He taught at colleges all across Europe, including the Universities of Lill, Uppsala, Hamburg, and Warsaw, before returning to France. He made significant contributions not just to the fields themselves, but to the way these areas are studied, and is particularly known for his work on the development of twentieth-century attitudes toward knowledge, sexuality, illness, and madness.

book by Michel Foucault.

This was one of Foucault’s major works: Foucault, Michel. Les mots et les choses. 387 . and Foucault, Michel. 422 p. Many would argue that this book strongly uses Structuralist ideas, although at the same time pointing to the limits of Structuralism

"Between language and the theory of nature there exists therefore a relation that is of a critical type; to know nature is, in fact, to build upon the basis of language a true language, one that will reveal the conditions in which all language is possible and the limits within which it can have a domain of validity." (p. 161)

There's no need to beat around the bush: The Order of Things is, bar none, the densest read on my shelf to date. Philosophy tyros steer clear; an entry-level text this is not. To say that this was as difficult to read as it was to understand would be a heavy understatement. Snippets patterned after the one above would frequently invite two- and three-peat readings to absorb before moving on to the next, equally demanding line of Foucaultian esoterica. Michel Foucault, writing in the French philosophy tradition, is touted as a librarian of ideas, and his works demonstrate such canonical breadth that they are surely not intended to be consumed in isolation. Indeed, you had better have a working understanding of the systems of knowledge throughout Western history if you stand any chance of deconstructing this significant opus.

Foucault's acumen and seemingly bottomless knack for depth are on full display in this, his most ambitious and the one that propelled him to stardom, work. However, even with a solid grasp of philosophy and the pivotal shifts in Western thought, you must then also place these insights within the tramlines of the baroque prose Foucault has prepared. Similitudes, resemblances, representation, significations, character, the analytic of finitude, empirico-transcendental: familiarity with this repetition of terminology will be critical if one is to grok the landscape Foucault has delicately painted.

The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences (1966) is nothing less than a genealogy of ideas, an intellectual ancestry of the Western mind. Along the way, Foucault somehow manages to retrace the entire development of science, restricting his analysis to a specific slice of spacetime: European culture since the 16th century. It is a work so daunting in scope, and so winged in its execution, that it seems to relish in keeping the mind in a perpetual state of entanglement, sputtering, caroming as you eagerly await for a resting point to collect your wits and proceed further into the well. He blinds you with brilliance, and insists that you see. Foucault ricochets between the intellectual giants of the Western world in rapid-fire fashion, traipsing from Spinoza to Descartes to Kant to Marx, Freud and Adam Smith, to Nietzsche, seemingly all while assuming on the part of the reader a dissertation-level of intimacy with each. Come prepared.

As I understand it-and I am most emphatically not claiming that I do-Foucault is demonstrating that there do exist traceable patterns in the great developments of Western thought in terms of limits, possibilities and approaches to new and old knowledge, but also discontinuities and breaks from old ways of thinking. How "clean" these breaks were is of course a matter of debate. He focuses in on three domains-linguistics and philology (language), biology (life) and economics (labor)-emphasizing how the intellectual boundaries present in each historical era shaped how man thought about these venues and how they approached and reflected on new developments and discoveries that pervaded our consciousness. Whether we were categorizing or taxonomizing, articulating or deconstructing, we operated in the epistemes confined to our period of history, but also turned toward new modes of discourse as ideas emerged out of the Western world's interminable, civilizational march.

There is also the niggling question of "man" and how and where s/he figures into the whole grandiose state of affairs. Foucault seems to be arguing that man, like everything else, is a historical construct, and its relation to the order of nature pivots according to developments in each area of inquiry, including but not limited to, the human sciences. That is, man's interpretation of man is a product of the historical development of the spaces that have most dominated the human intellect, viz the human sciences of (proto-)biology, anthropology and psychoanalysis, the social sciences of economics and labor, and, most intricately, the all-enveloping force of language, which is coextensive with every sphere with which we make contact. Certainly, man's shifting coordinates within the grid of knowledge and human inquiry is of special emphasis here in Foucault's sweeping manifesto.

In the closing sections, Foucault hints toward a new episteme, something that is ill-defined, turbid, hazy but which carries all the signs of a break from what came before. He doesn't specify with any precision what this branching episteme consists of, or which domain(s) has largely catalyzed its brachiation, but he seems to think it is imminent as a reflection of the mid-20th century region Foucault occupied.


A work like this is one which eludes classification, much like how the centerpiece of the book itself-man-resists arrangement within its relation to human knowledge. The Order of Things is simply, and not so simply, sui generis, transcending the common boundaries of empirical disciplines and even philosophy. Foucault's writing is ornate, painstakingly precise in places yet frustratingly ambiguous in others (so much so that, like me, you might desire the opportunity to stop every now and again and ask questions). I wish I could say that I grasped the book in its overarching messages as well as its more subtle analyses, but this will require subsequent readings, likely several more. If you've previously been introduced to Foucault or his French antecedents, you may be in a better position to follow along. But if you're like me, this will be a humbling read, an intellectual tour de force that incessantly reminds you how much more there is yet to learn.

"History shows that everything that has been thought will be thought again by a thought that does not yet exist." (p. 372)
It's Foucault. And this 2017. > There is no reason not to add this to your bookshelf. In fact, if you are only going to pick up two works by Foucault, I'd suggest this one and Discipline and Punish, though saying this aloud here might prompt the masses to freak. Side note: if you are into Borges, this is the first Foucault book you oughtta pick up.
Silver Globol
This my third reading of The Order of Things. Twenty years ago, the first and second readings introduced me to Foucault's alternative vision of language, history, and reality. Today's rereading reinforces that earlier assessment of its immense value .
no one has ever been more intelligent
Like I'm going to get so wordy you're not going to know what I mean until after 15 or 20 pages. And guess what else: you're not even going to know what-it-is (you think "it is") you think I mean. That is, until you pull it from the gist. So just give up after trying to play this on google talkback© trying to get the meaning by playing it faster, and condencing it into digestable chunks, hoping to find a meaning in the breach. Yeah that's what kind of philosopher I am. I'm not the dialetician or the epistomologist. Im not your structuralist or a purist. If anyone can pull the meaning from my grip.
This was an eye-opener for me. Not so much that Foucault's insights are convincing, but in reading him I achieved a first glimpse of how much of the language used by academic writers conversant in "theory" is taken from this book. After a little time spent reading this, I felt more comfortable with academic writing. Not so much that I understand better what the scholars are saying, but it's now clearer whom they are parroting. It consequently lets me know where an author's allegiance lies.
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