Download Sartre, Foucault, and Historical Reason, Volume 2: A by Thomas R. Flynn PDF

By Thomas R. Flynn

Sartre and Foucault have been of the main renowned and from time to time together adversarial philosophical figures of the 20 th century. And nowhere are the antithetical natures in their existentialist and poststructuralist philosophies extra obvious than of their disparate techniques to historic realizing. In quantity considered one of this authoritative two-volume examine, Thomas R. Flynn performed a pivotal and complete reconstruction of Sartrean historic idea. This long-awaited moment quantity deals a complete and demanding analyzing of the Foucauldian counterpoint.

A historical past, theorized Foucault, may be one of those map, a entire charting of structural changes and displacements through the years. opposite to different Foucault students, Flynn proposes an "axial" instead of a developmental interpreting of Foucault's paintings. this enables elements of Foucault's well-known triad of data, strength, and the topic to emerge in each one of his significant works. Flynn maps existentialist different types throughout Foucault's "quadrilateral," the version that Foucault proposes as defining modernist conceptions of data. At stake is the measure to which Sartre's notion is totally captured by way of this mapping, no matter if he was once, as Foucault claimed, "a guy of the 19th century attempting to imagine within the twentieth."

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Extra resources for Sartre, Foucault, and Historical Reason, Volume 2: A Poststructuralist Mapping of History

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In other words, genealogy resists traditional historiographic unities (author, text, movement) as strenuously as does archaeology. ” The reason for this attention to “numberless beginnings” may well be, as Henri Iréné Marrou insisted, because the historian is by profession a nominalist, attached to the singular and unrepeatable. 52 “The analysis of descent [as distinct from origin],” Foucault explains, “permits the dissociation of the Me, its recognition and displacement as an empty synthesis, in liberating a profusion of lost events” (EW 2:374, NGH).

The first two concepts are commonly associated with his writings; the last, as I noted in an excursus to the previous chapter, requires some explanation and defense. 20 But Lord Acton had anticipated the distinction several decades earlier with his celebrated prescription that historians address themselves to problems rather than periods. What is distinctive about Foucauldian “problematization” is its emphasis not on the problem itself but on how it became problematic, its contrast with another era for which it was scarcely a problem at all.

In what some call his “discourse on method,” The Archaeology of Knowledge (1969), he discusses four of the main considerations that differentiate archaeology from the history of ideas, namely, the attribution of innovation, the analysis of contradictions, comparative descriptions, and the mapping of transformations (AK 138). Again, it is a matter of elaborating the positive of the negative sketched earlier in this chapter to reveal a fuller image of archaeology as Foucault understands it. These topics will reappear at various junctures in the following chapters.

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