Michel Foucault's historical and philosophical investigations have gone through many phases: the archaeological, the genealogical, and the ethical among them. What remains constant, however, is the question that motivates them: who are we? Todd May follows Foucault's itinerary from his early history of madness to his posthumously published College de France lectures and shows how the question of who we are shifts and changes but remains constantly at or just below the surface of his writings. By approaching Foucault's work in this way, May is able to offer readers an engaging and illuminating way to understand Foucault. Each of Foucault's key works - "Madness and Civilization," "The Archaeology of Knowledge," "The Order of Things," "Discipline and Punish" and the multi-volume "History of Sexuality" - are examined in detail and situated in an historical context that makes effective use of comparisons with other thinkers such as Freud, Nietzsche and Sartre. Throughout this book May strikes a balance between sympathetic presentation and criticism of Foucault's ideas and in so doing exposes Foucault's contributions of lasting value. "The Philosophy of Foucault" is an accessible and stimulating introduction to one of the most popular and influential thinkers of recent years and will be welcomed by students studying Foucault as part of politics, sociology, history and philosophy courses.
Table of Contents
Abbreviations Acknowledgements 1. Introduction: Who are we? 2. Archaeological histories of who we are 3. Genealogical histories of who we are 4. Who we are and who we might be 5. Coda: Foucault's own straying afield 6. Are we still who Foucault says we are? Notes Further Reading Bibliography