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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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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 03 August 2021

Michel Serres: Atomism

Michel Serres: Atomism

5 Michel Serres: Atomism
Foucault's Archaeology

David Webb

Edinburgh University Press

Serres’ study of atomism, encapsulated in his book The Birth of Physics, extends the reach of some of the principles he derived from Leibniz and from mathematics. Order is shown to arise from the contingent formation of patterns of regularity. There are no universal laws governing such formations, and therefore no laws that govern the global development of systems. Instead, local regularities shape future events which then in turn modify the regularities from which they arose. This chapter sets out the principal features of Serres’ account of Lucretius in The Birth of Physics, which will be important for the interpretation of Foucault's archaeology that follows.

Keywords:   Foucault, Serres, Lucretius, Atomism, Regularity

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