Encompassing all of Foucault's published work, this book provides an array of secondary literature about Foucault including his philosophical history, his debts to other thinkers, and his complex relationship to French structuralism. This book raises important queries as to the ultimate value and legitimacy of his variety of philosophical rhetoric, with its attendant view of the role of the modern intellectual.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
At the time of his death in June 1984, Michel Foucault had become widely known as 'the new Sartre'. By attempting a highly original and daring merger of philosophy and history, he had set out to revitalize Western philosophy with bold, provocative theses on our concepts of madness, the assumptions of science and language, our attitudes to punishment and discipline, and our ideas about sexuality. Finally, he presented new perspectives on the phenomenon of power and its relationship with knowledge.
J. G. Merquior's is an uninhibited critical assessment of Foucault as 'a historian of the present.' Encompassing all his published work and a comprehensive array of secondary literature about Foucault, it appraises his philosophical background and his debts to previous thinkers such as Bachelard and Kuhn, and sketches his complex relationship to French structuralism and post-structuralism. It closes with an outline of Foucault's ideological profile as Nietzschean master of the neo-anarchist mood, and raises important queries about the ultimate value and grapple with what Foucault 'means', with his true worth, Merquior's incisive, sane introduction will become all the more indispensable.
"[Merquior's] erudition was outstanding. It is doubtful whether anything escaped him… His achievements might well have in the end made him one of the few philosopher-kings of the century, and – a rarer claim – one whose efforts were effectively committed to the furtherance of liberal values, rather than the illusions of the age."
ERNEST GELLNER, 'Independent', obituary of J. G. Merquior
'I have never been a Freudian, I have never been a Marxist and I have never been a structuralist.'
By J. G. Merquior
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