Michel Foucault may be one of the most influential French philosophers of our time. He spent much of his professional life as a professor, and he is best known because of his critical analysis of various social institutions; medicine and the human sciences being specific ones. He published many books, including The Archaeology of Knowledge which he published in 1969 with the purpose of replying to the way that his previous book, The Order of Things was received in the philosophical community. The focus of this book was on methodology, and it deals specifically with analytical theory and speech act theory. In this book he focuses on the "statement" as the essential element of discourse, which according to Foucault had not been given the attention it deserved in the study of history. To him, statements are what make language meaningful as they establish a framework of rules that outline what is evocative.
[...] As Foucault advocates, these new weapons are faceless, and are synonymous with statements. In this book, he illustrates how the changing history of information has led to the state of military capabilities as it is today. (Landa, 1991). We can apply Foucault's ideas to Magrittes' This is not a pipe. In this piece, there is a picture which an ordinary person would assume is a pipe, but Foucault highlights the importance of the separation that is inherent in linguistic signs and plastic elements. [...]
[...] He focuses on analyzing statements in the course of history, and this is how he answers questions like: what is historical truth? Does history move in predictable cycles? Are some histories more important than others? Who writes history and why? Is there a history of the spiritual in art? This essay will examine Foucault and the first two chapters of The Archaeology of Knowledge. It will give insight into the context of the text, the key points, and how his work relates to that of prominent philosopher, G.W.F. [...]
[...] In this way, Foucault is saying that the historian is not detached from others historians, those who have reported history already and contribute to the study of history in general, and also that the human historian is not a unique entity reporting merely from memory. Foucault uses this interlocking of history and the human subject to explain why historical changes that he observes have not been previously observed. (Strathern, 2000). This complicated role that the historians play according to Foucault is one that comes with his differing conception of what composes history. [...]
[...] Foucault highlights how even the new notions of the history of ideas places a premium on the continuity of history, but this does not give the proper weight to the fact that there are many complexities related to discourse. History is a product of discourses, and discourses are not developed from notions of continuity, rather they are developed as a result of different on complicated institutional relationships. These relationships are as much characterized by discontinuity as much as they are continuity. [...]
[...] Works Cited: Foucault, M. (1972). Extracts from The Archaeology of Knowledge, Paris (1969), trans. A. Sheridan Smith (London), Introduction, 3-17 and Chapter 21-30. Foucault, M. (1970). The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences. New York: Pantheon,and London: Tavistock. Foucault, M. (1972)/ The Archaeology of Knowledge and the Discourse on Language. A. M. Sheridan Smith, translator. New York: Pantheon. Foucault, M. (1968). This is Not a Pipe. http://www.foucault.info/documents/foucault.thisIsNotaPipe.en.html Goldstein, [...]
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