the archaeology of knowledge introduction

location London . The Archeology of Knowledge is to be a book that gives a broad theoretical account of Foucault's method in his previous, directly historical works: Madness and Civilization,The Birth of the Clinic, and The Order of Things. Much of the rest of the Foucault's discussion will be devoted to an explication of what kind of a thing the document is, so we will not look too closely at it here. Foucault observes a number of shifts in contemporary historical practice that question such a teleological narrative. The Archaeology of Knowledge. Part III, Chapter 2: The Enunciative Function. A summing up of Foucault's own methodological assumptions, this book is also a first step toward a genealogy of the way we live now. Edited By Himanshu Prabha Ray. Includes the author's The Discourse on Language, translation of ordre du discours I. Use up and down arrows to review and enter to select. ... Introduction. In the field of history proper, there has been a turn away from sequences of political events (successions, wars, the stuff of classical history) toward highly specified, underlying histories (like that of corn). The historical problem in these fields, then, 'is no longer one of tradition, of tracing a line, but one of division, of limits; it is no longer one of lasting foundations, but one of transformations that serve as new foundations, the rebuilding of foundations' (any idea of ultimate origins, then, becomes irrelevant). Learning and scholarship. Firstly, historians have come to address the 'great, silent, motionless bases' that lie beneath the political successions, wars, and famines with which traditional historical practice has been concerned. This new view of history, in which documents become artifacts or 'monuments,' means that history now aspires to be a kind of 'archeology.'. Source: The Archaeology of Knowledge (1969), publ. Publication date 1972-01-01 Topics Theory of Knowledge, Epistemology, Philosophy Collection folkscanomy; additional_collections Language English. Part II: The Discursive Regularities Chapter 1: The Unities of Discourse, Part II, Chapter 2: Discursive Formations, Part II, Chapter 3: The Formation of Objects. In the Introduction, Foucault is primarily concerned with listing the effects that the renewed 'questioning of the document' has had on the field of historical studies. Totalizing history is replaced by 'general history,' in which no continuities are presumed in the open field of documentary evidence. This process has resulted in the 'surface effects' detailed above in history and in the history of ideas. In light of Foucault's mention of Freud in relation to his project (both introduce 'discontinuity' to their respective fields), we might note that this critique of the historian is linked to a critique of the human subject in general: just as the historian is not a detached, self-transparent consciousness passively observing past events, neither is the human subject a totally independent entity passively observing the field of memory. I. Foucault, Michel. ordre du discours. In addition, the mass of historical documents provides the conditions of the very possibility of the historian's enterprise; the historian does not think in a vacuum, but owes what he or she is able to enunciate in part to what has been enunciated before. His answer is a largely psychoanalytic one: the idea of an ordered, teleological, and continuous history serves to make 'human consciousness the original subject of all historical development and all action.' “ Introduction.”. There are also a few brief protests on Foucault's part that he is not a structuralist. Essentially, we have insisted on a whole, centered notion of the human subject, and therefore on the continuous history that goes hand in hand with such a subject. Roughly, we can class all of these effects under a kind of massive complication of received notions about how to interpret historical materials, how to put them in relation to each other in terms of causality and in terms of their place in an overall schema. Marx (by founding a purely relational analysis), Nietzsche (by replacing original rational foundations with a moral genealogy), and Freud (by showing that we are not transparent to ourselves) all challenged this tradition of keeping history in a 'tranquilized sleep' by introducing a radical discontinuity to history and its human subject.

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