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Foucault, Michel (1926–84)


Subject Literature

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405168908.2010.x


French philosopher, historian, social analyst. Influences include the philosophical works of N ietzsche and H eidegger , the writings of B ataille and Blanchot, the example of Dumézil, Canguilhem, and Hyppolite, and more generally the tradition of critical thought which runs from the work of H egel through to the analyses of the Frankfurt school ( Foucault, 1971 ; 1977 ; 1986 ). Foucault's wide-ranging analyses do not fit easily into existing disciplinary categories. His ideas and investigations have had a significant impact on a number of different fields of inquiry, ranging from philosophy, history, sociology, and political science to literary and C ultural studies . Foucault's several analyses are clustered around three sets of concerns, namely (i) the formation and transformation of S ystems of knowledge, and the constitution of regimes of truth; (ii) technologies of the self, and (iii) the constitution of forms of subjectivity. The analyses conducted by Foucault range over a series of topics, including mental illness/madness ( Mental Illness and Psychology and Madness and Civilization); medical perception (The Birth of The Clinic); the formation of the modern human sciences and the analysis of systems of knowledge (The Order of Things and The Archaeology of Knowledge); discipline, punishment, and the prison ( Discipline and Punish); and sexuality and subjectivity ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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