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Foucault: A Critical Reader (Blackwell Critical Reader) [Paperback]

By David C. Hoy (Editor)
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Item description for Foucault: A Critical Reader (Blackwell Critical Reader) by David C. Hoy...

This collection gives a complete picture of Foucault's importance as a thinker and social critic who transcended academic boundaries to challenge entrenched, institutionalized models of theoretical rationality and practical normalcy. (Philosophy)

Publishers Description
This collection of articles on Michel Foucault confirms his position as one of the most influential thinkers in this last quarter of the century, and simultaneously demonstrates the current ambivalence among philosophers and social scientists about the actual grounds for such an assessment.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Wiley-Blackwell
Pages   246
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.84" Width: 6.4" Height: 0.65"
Weight:   0.85 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 8, 1991
Publisher   Wiley-Blackwell
ISBN  0631140433  
ISBN13  9780631140436  

Availability  133 units.
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More About David C. Hoy

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! David C. Hoy has an academic affiliation as follows - University of California Santa Cruz.

David C. Hoy has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Blackwell Critical Readers

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > General
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Modern
3Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Sociology > General
4Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Sociology

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Reviews - What do customers think about Foucault: A Critical Reader (Blackwell Critical Reader)?

A Tremendous Collection of Essays from Many Perspectives  Sep 20, 2004
This collection of essays about Foucault's thought assumes at least some familiarity with his work and is valuable even for the most weathered of Foucault students. It contains essays by such big names in philosophy as Jürgen Habermas, Charles Taylor, Richard Rorty, Ian Hacking, Edward Said, and Hubert Dreyfus, as well as by such big names in Foucauldian scholarship as Arnold Davidson and Paul Rabinow (along with Dreyfus). These essays are all generally respectful in tone, but some are of a highly critical nature (those of Charles Taylor and Habermas, especially) while others are of an interpretive nature (those of Arnold Davidson, Richard Rorty, Dreyfus/Rabinow, Ian Hacking). Most of these essays are of very fine quality, and even ones with which I do not agree (like that of Charles Taylor) are still extremely interesting and valuable, perhaps for that very reason.

I've read a great deal of Foucault as well as secondary literature about him, and I would go so far as to say that this is the best critical volume available, if you are looking for a nice array (from positive to negative) of philosophically important perspectives. The CAMBRIDGE COMPANION TO FOUCAULT is valuable as a collection of scholarly essays concerning Foucault, but this FOUCAULT: A CRITICAL READER provides a completely different realm of discussion by incorporating a sense of active philosophical dialogue where Foucault is not necessarily the central participant. That is not to say that Foucault is not the subject of these essays, as they run the gamut from analysis of his early work on madness, to his middle quasi-structuralist work, to his later work on ethics. But, the thought contained in these essays are not always confined within the realm of thought Foucault opened up and actively confront pragmatic and philosophical problems with his work

The essay by Dreyfus and Rabinow is particularly fine as an interpretation of Foucault's oeuvre. Their book, MICHEL FOUCAULT: BEYOND STRUCTURALISM AND HERMENEUTICS, is still the standard text for a philosophically rigorous interpretation of Foucault. This essay seems to update the reading they provided in that text and is very engaging.

Another great feature of this collection is that many of the essays cite the others or at least the authors of the others, so one gets the sense of a superb discussion. The essays by Arnold Davidson and Richard Rorty have conflicting interpretations about the coherency of Foucault's oeuvre, the former viewing archaeology and genealogy as companion methods (as Foucault did...most of the time...) and the latter viewing archaeology as a failed project then replaced by a more philosophically coherent project of genealogy. More directly, Rorty's essay is a response to a lecture given by Ian Hacking, a lecture which is one of the two items by Hacking published in this collection. Almost every author (to my recollection) cites Dreyfus and Rabinow, and some speak about the Habermas/Foucault debate-that-never-was, while Habermas himself includes a short article partially (but only partially) summarizing his criticisms of Foucault in his very engaging THE PHILOSOPHICAL DISCOURSE OF MODERNITY.

For anyone interested in Foucault in any significant way or for those interested in the takes of any of these thinkers on Foucault, this volume is a must.

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