Re: [Foucault-L] Genealogy Archaeology Divide

Hey Jared,

Tricky question that will no doubt get different answers.

I am of the persuasion that there is a break in the two methodologies; mainly because I take archaeology to suffer from issues it never gets around. For example,

1) The relationship between the Discursive and Non-Discursive (something I think genealogy gets round via its focus on practises).
2) The generality of the archives Foucault describes and what could be argued to be a return of a quasi-transcendental in his own work.
3) The reflexivity and epistemological status of Foucault's own archaeologies.

You can see Foucault grappling with some of these problems; for example, see the English preface to the Order of Things and the Archaeology of Knowledge.

On the other hand, other authors don?t see the above problems in Archaeology (I?m thinking of Gutting?s book but can?t remember the title).

Foucault is pretty patchy on highlighting the differences between the two methods but the book I found most helpful was by Todd May:

(1993), Between Genealogy and Epistemology: Psychology, politics and Knowledge in the Thought of Michel Foucault (University Park, PA: Pennsylvania Press)

I don?t know you familiarity level concerning Foucault?s work, but if not high, try reading May?s introduction to Foucault beforehand, which does a good job of introducing the differences whilst stressing the continuity between the two methods.

BTW, I would not get too bogged down in Foucault's recasting of his own project, it happens at various times throughout his career. And roughly, the works do all address the historical ontology of ourselves that Foucault denotes in What is Enlightenment.


From: "Jared Kennard" <jaredkennard@xxxxxxxxx>
Reply-To: Mailing-list <foucault-l@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: foucault-l@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [Foucault-L] Genealogy Archaeology Divide
Date: Sat, 22 Sep 2007 23:36:05 -0600

This question may seem a bit naive but I will ask it anyway. I have been
doing some research on Foucault's genealogy and archaeology and have come to
the conclusion that in the course of his work the latter is more or less
replaced by the former. I began my inquiry with the understanding that the
early works of Foucault were conducted under a sort of rubric of
archaeology, as he lays out in various places. It seems, however, that he
finds this method unsatisfactory and moves to the genealogical method
instead. My problem is that in stead of a clean break or clear
differentiation between the two methodologies he seems to simply recast his
works as works of genealogy instead of archaeology. In the interview he
gave with Rabinow and Dreyfus entitled "On the Genealogy of Ethics" he
states that: "three domains of genealogy are possible," and that "all three
were Madness and Civilization." Furthermore, The Birth of the
Clinic and The Order of Things studied one of these three axis, while
Discipline and Punish and History of Sexuality Studied the other two. With
out getting into the specifics of what these three possibilities are, since
that doesn't seem relevant to the problem at hand, it does seem quite
obvious that he is brushing over earlier statements he has made about his
early works being archaeology's; or perhaps he is attempting to apply a sort
of discursive eraser.

Ultimately my problem boils down to this: if what I have said above is
correct than where, if anywhere, does he talk about this move he has made?
Has archaeology been removed as an analytical tool due to the problems this
methodology creates? And if so in what ways does genealogy differ from its
predecessor? How is it that the genealogical form can simply replace the
archaeological one?

Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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