Foucault: A Very Short Introduction (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, Mar 24, 2005 - Philosophy - 144 pages
47 Reviews
Foucault is one of those rare philosophers who has become a cult figure. Born in 1926 in France, over the course of his life he dabbled in drugs, politics, and the Paris SM scene, all whilst striving to understand the deep concepts of identity, knowledge, and power. From aesthetics to the penal system; from madness and civilisation to avant-garde literature, Foucault was happy to reject old models of thinking and replace them with versions that are still widely debated today. A major influence on Queer Theory and gender studies (he was openly gay and died of an AIDS-related illness in 1984), he also wrote on architecture, history, law, medicine, literature, politics and of course philosophy, and even managed a best-seller in France on a book dedicated to the history of systems of thought. Because of the complexity of his arguments, people trying to come to terms with his work have desperately sought introductory material that makes his theories clear and accessible for the beginner. Ideally suited for the Very Short Introductions series, Gary Gutting presents a comprehensive but non-systematic treatment of some highlights of Foucault's life and thought. Beginning with a brief biography to set the social and political stage, he then tackles Foucault's thoughts on literature, in particular the avant-garde scene; his philosophical and historical work; his treatment of knowledge and power in modern society; and his thoughts on sexuality. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

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Review: Foucault: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions #122)

User Review  - Tim C - Goodreads

I seem to come across references to Foucault fairly frequently, so I decided it was high time I give the great man's works a go - consequently, reading this little book was my way of dipping my toe in ... Read full review

Review: Foucault: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions #122)

User Review  - KW Wong - Goodreads

Gutting's lucid summary of Madness and Civilisation in Chapter 7 is amazing. Read full review


List of illustrations
Chapter 1Lives and works
Chapter 2Literature
Chapter 3Politics
Chapter 4Archaeology
Chapter 5Genealogy
Chapter 6The masked philosopher
Chapter 7Madness
Chapter 8Crime and punishment
Chapter 9Modern sex
Chapter 10Ancient sex
References and further reading

Common terms and phrases