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Foucault's ArchaeologyScience and Transformation$
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David Webb

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780748624218

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748624218.001.0001

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To What Problem Does The Archaeology of Knowledge Respond?

To What Problem Does The Archaeology of Knowledge Respond?

Chapter:
(p.6) (p.7) 1. To What Problem Does The Archaeology of Knowledge Respond?
Source:
Foucault's Archaeology
Author(s):

David Webb

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748624218.003.0002

The chapter outlines the analysis of the impasse reached by thought in modernity that Foucault sets out in the closing chapters of The Order of Things. There, he describes how the figure of man holds in place a division between empirical enquiry and transcendental conditions. Looking for an alternative, he proposes that the figure of man may soon disappear. For Foucault, this removes the requirement for unity that underpins knowledge, without thereby undermining knowledge itself, and he welcomes the pluralism and multiplicity that comes from this. Foucault does not believe that the disappearance of man leads to the triumph of positivism. There are conditions underpinning knowledge, and they are historical, not transcendental; but their history cannot be levelled down to that of empirical events. Foucault's challenge is to explain what status they do have, if they are neither transcendental conditions nor empirical causes.

Keywords:   Foucault, Archaeology, Modernity, The Order of Things

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