Tag Archives: Foucault

Foucault, the “History of Thought,” and the Question of Enlightenment

My previous post examined how, during the last eighteen months of his life, Foucault repeatedly drew a distinction between the “history of thought” in which he was engaged and more conventional (though, in his view, “entirely legitimate“) approaches employed within … Continue reading

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On Michel Foucault’s Distinction between the “History of Ideas” and the “History of Thought”

In a May 1984 interview with Paul Rabinow, Michel Foucault characterized his general approach as follows: For a long time, I have been trying to see if it would be possible to describe the history of thought as distinct both … Continue reading

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Foucault on “Enlightenment” in Discipline and Punish

Discussing Michel Foucault’s Discipline and Punish (or, to be more accurate, that portions of it that turn up in The Foucault Reader) in a seminar I taught this spring, I was struck, once again, by a sentence that reminded me … Continue reading

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A Blazon and a Fetish: Foucault, Habermas and the Debate that Never Was (Conclusion)

Michel Foucault began the first of his 1983 lectures on The Government of Self and Others with a few comments on the peculiar challenges of lecturing to a public with whom — given the nature of the Collège de France … Continue reading

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Foucault and Habermas on Kant, Modernity, and Enlightenment (The Debate that Never Was, Part IV)

The aim of my series of posts on the so-called “Foucault/Habermas Debate” has been to move the focus away from the discussion of the differences in their general approaches and return it to the more modest concerns that lay at … Continue reading

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Foucault on “Horkheimer” and “Aufklärung” (Marginal Notes on the Foucault/Habermas Debate)

One of the dangers of focusing as intently as I have on matters such as the so-called “Foucault/Habermas Debate” is the that one runs the risk of turning into something approximating the character played by Mel Gibson in Conspiracy Theory … Continue reading

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Misunderstanding Foucault — Foucault. Habermas, and the Debate that Never Was (Part III)

My last post on the so-called “Foucault/Habermas Debate” focused on the eulogy JürgenHabermas wrote in the wake of Michel Foucault’s death. The main theoretical claim of the eulogy was that Foucault, the one-time critic of the “Enlightenment project” (a project … Continue reading

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Habermas’ Foucault — The Debate that Never Was (Part II)

As I discussed in my previous post, what has come to known as the “Foucault/Habermas Debate” has largely been the creation of parties other than Foucault and Habermas. They met only once, in March 1983, when Habermas visited Paris to … Continue reading

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Foucault, Habermas, and the Debate That Never Was

For the last thirty years my filing cabinet has contained two letters dating from the fall of 1983: one from Jürgen Habermas, the other from Michel Foucault. They were written in response to my attempt to see if they would … Continue reading

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On Foucault’s Review of Cassirer’s Philosophy of the Enlightenment

It is unfortunate that no one has gotten around to translating Michel Foucault’s 1966 review of the French translation of Ernst Cassirer’s Philosophie der Aufklärung.1 Granted, it is a short text and – prior to its reprinting in Foucault’s Dits … Continue reading

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