Re: [Foucault-L] The Archaeology of Knowledge

Yes, I do! I do like the book's style, but more important is the impact of archeology as a method on Foucault's later texts. I'm thinking especially on the two lectures on the History of Governementalité (1978-1979), which is often misread as a piece of history of political ideas. If one instead takes it to use archeology, the term "population" acquires the importance it is given by Foucault when he claims it being the operator that drove the transformation described in "The order of things" (see the end of Lecture 3 on January 25th, 1978).

Bringing archeology back in also helps, I think, in giving up the strange trend of breaking up "governementalité" in "gouverner" and "mentalité" (at least this was a trend in the German and English literature, ignoring the editor of the lectures, M.Senellart, who explains it to be derived from "governemental"), which in turn makes the study of Governementalités into a study of mentalities. Acknowledging the archeological method, studying forms of governementalité means first of all determining the "form of problematization" a specific political rationality reacts to.

These are just two reasons I would put some emphasis on the Archeology of Knowledge, though I admit that it is a book that is hard to work with.


Chetan Vemuri schrieb:
So there's a debate over the usefulness of The Archaeology of Knowledge in
Foucault's oeuvre. Some feel its the black sheep of his work, a failed
attempt at defining his methodology, others feel its a rich, fascinating set
of studies of discursive practices. Some feel it is flawed, others think
not. This has been one of my favorite Foucault books yet many find it dull
and uninteresting.
Is there anyone else that defends its strong merits and value for
understanding Foucault's work in general?

  • Re: [Foucault-L] The Archaeology of Knowledge
    • From: Chetan Vemuri
  • Replies
    [Foucault-L] The Archaeology of Knowledge, Chetan Vemuri
    Partial thread listing: