The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences

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Vintage Books, 1970 - Philosophy - 387 pages
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Traces the evolution of man's study of himself from seventeenth-century human sciences

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User Review  - DavidCLDriedger - LibraryThing

A bear of a read in terms of the historical data Foucault brings into play (my eyes glazed over a fair amount of it). I have to wonder how much more beneficial it was reading this than reading a good ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - malithgow - LibraryThing

Difficult unraveling of changing epistemes from 16th century to present - the ways in which order (how we in the West make order, recognize order, and express order in terms of meaning and knowledge) changes and with it the meanings we ascribe to experience. Read full review

Contents

Las Meninas
3
The Prose of the World
17
II SIGNATURES
25
Copyright

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About the author (1970)

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. There he taught at the University of Paris and the College of France, where he served as the chairman of History of Systems of Thought until his death. Regarded as one of the great French thinkers of the twentieth century, Foucault's interest was in the human sciences, areas such as psychiatry, language, literature, and intellectual history. 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. Foucault's initial study of these subjects used an archaeological method, which involved sifting through seemingly unrelated scholarly minutia of a certain time period in order to reconstruct, analyze, and classify the age according to the types of knowledge that were possible during that time. This approach was used in Madness and Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason, for which Foucault received a medal from France's Center of Scientific Research in 1961, The Birth of the Clinic, The Order of Things, and The Archaeology of Knowledge. Foucault also wrote Discipline and Punishment: The Birth of the Prison, a study of the ways that society's views of crime and punishment have developed, and The History of Sexuality, which was intended to be a six-volume series. Before he could begin the final two volumes, however, Foucault died of a neurological disorder in 1984.

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