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Interventions in Contemporary ThoughtHistory, Politics, Aesthetics$
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Gabriel Rockhill

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781474405355

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474405355.001.0001

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The Right of Philosophy and the Facts of History: Foucault, Derrida, Descartes

The Right of Philosophy and the Facts of History: Foucault, Derrida, Descartes

(p.55) Chapter 2 The Right of Philosophy and the Facts of History: Foucault, Derrida, Descartes*
Interventions in Contemporary Thought

Gabriel Rockhill

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter proposes a counter-history of a seminal debate in the transition from structuralism to post-structuralism. It calls into question the widespread assumption that Derrida rejects Foucault’s structuralist stranglehold by demonstrating that the meaning of a text always remains open. Through a meticulous examination of their respective historical paradigms, methodological orientations and hermeneutic parameters, it argues that Derrida’s critique of his former professor is, at the level of theoretical practice, a call to return to order. The ultimate conclusion is that the Foucault-Derrida debate has much less to do with Descartes’ text per se, than with the relationship between the traditional tasks of philosophy and the meta-theoretical reconfiguration of philosophic practice via the methods of the social sciences.

Keywords:   Structuralism, post-structuralism, hermeneutics, philosophical methodology, philosophy and the social sciences, Derrida, Foucault, Descartes

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