AK was undergrad texts

Matthew says
>Speaking of which: a while ago, I read a book (can't remember which;
>maybe Megill, but I don't think so) which claimed that AK must be
>read as a parody of Descartes's _Discourse on Method_: that if you read
>it straight, you just don't get it. Personally, I don't much see the
>connection (and anyway I'm inclined to agree with Rorty that AK is
>Foucault's "least successful book"). Comments?

I actually have found AK to be a *very* useful book for its critiques of
traditional historiography and also interesting for the alternatives it
proposes. There is also an interesting discussion about scientific
knowledge in it as well. The book had quite an impact on my thinking when I
first read it.

Rob says

>I think that the _Archaeology_ is Foucault's unsuccessful attempt to codify
>what he was doing. It is vague on some of the most important
>theoretical/methodological issues of his work, e.g. the definition of the
>"statement". He says what it is not, but never exactly what it is.

I don't think it matters terribly much that it doesn't really describe in
detail what Foucault does in his other books - what it does do is offer
critiques and alternatives to an approach to history which was pretty all
pervasive when he wrote the book. One critic describes AK as the reverse of
Kierkegaard's book _Either...or_ saying AK could have been better titled
_Neither, nor_ I personally quite like this kind of negative approach - it
allows for a lot of invention and freedom of thought.


Clare O'Farrell
web page: http://www.qut.edu.au/edu/cpol/foucault/

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