The archaeology of knowledge

Aug 19, David marked it as maybe-later Recommended to David by: The reason I bought this book last week was that the cover was hot. Hot as in attractive.

The archaeology of knowledge

Chapter 1 The Unities of Discourse Source: The Archaeology of Knowledgepubl.

The archaeology of knowledge

The First 3 The archaeology of knowledge of main body of work are reproduced here. The archaeology of knowledge use of concepts of discontinuity, rupture, threshold, limit, series, and transformation present all historical analysis not only with questions of procedure, but with theoretical problems.

It is these problems that will be studied here the questions of procedure will be examined in later empirical studies - if the opportunity, the desire, and the courage to undertake them do not desert me. These theoretical problems too will be examined only in a particular field: But there is a negative work to be carried out first: They may not have a very rigorous conceptual structure, but they have a very precise function.

Take the notion of tradition: There are the notions of development and evolution: There is the notion of 'spirit', which enables us to establish between the simultaneous or successive phenomena of a given period a community of meanings, symbolic links, an interplay of resemblance and reflexion, or which allows the sovereignty of collective consciousness to emerge as the principle of unity and explanation.

We must question those ready-made syntheses, those groupings that we normally accept before any examination, those links whose validity is recognised from the outset; we must oust those forms and obscure forces by which we usually link the discourse of one man with that of another; they must be driven out from the darkness in which they reign.

And instead of according them unqualified, spontaneous value, we must accept, in the name of methodological rigour, that, in the first instance, they concern only a population of dispersed events. We must also question those divisions or groupings with which we have become so familiar.

Can one accept, as such, the distinction between the major types of discourse, or that between such forms or genres as science, literature, philosophy, religion, history, fiction, etc.

We are not even sure of ourselves when we use these distinctions in our own world of discourse, let alone when we are analysing groups of statements which, when first formulated, were distributed, divided, and characterised in a quite different way: In any case, these divisions - whether our own, or those contemporary with the discourse under examination - are always themselves reflexive categories, principles of classification, normative rules, institutionalised types: But the unities that must be suspended above all are those that emerge in the most immediate way: At first sight, it would seem that one could not abandon these unities without extreme artificiality.

Are they not given in the most definite way? There is the material individualisation of the book, which occupies a determined space which has an economic value, and which itself indicates, by a number of signs, the limits of its beginning and its end; and there is the establishment of an oeuvre, which we recognise and delimit by attributing a certain number of texts to an author.

And yet as soon as one looks at the matter a little more closely the difficulties begin. The material unity of the book? In other words, is not the material unity of the volume a weak, accessory unity in relation to the discursive unity of which it is the support?

The Archaeology of Knowledge by Michel Foucault |

But is this discursive unity itself homogeneous and uniformly applicable? The frontiers of a book are never clear-cut: And this network of references is not the same in the case of a mathematical treatise, a textual commentary, a historical account, and an episode in a novel cycle; the unity of the book, even in the sense of a group of relations, cannot be regarded as identical in each case.

The book is not simply the object that one holds in one's hands; and it cannot remain within the little parallelepiped that contains it: As soon as one questions that unity, it lows its self-evidence; it indicates itself, constructs itself, only on the basis Of a complex field of discourse.

Yet, at first sight, what could be more simple? A collection of texts that can be designated by the sign of a proper name. But this designation even leaving to one side problems of attribution is not a homogeneous function: The establishment of a complete oeuvre presupposes a number of choices that are difficult to justify or even to formulate: Should one also include all his sketches and first drafts, with all their corrections and crossings out?

Should one add sketches that he himself abandoned? And what status should be given to letters, notes, reported conversations, transcriptions of what he said made by those present at the time, in short, to that vast mass of verbal traces left by an individual at his death, and which speak in an endless confusion so many different languages langages?

One is admitting that there must be a level as deep as it is necessary to imagine it at which the oeuvre emerges, in all its fragments, even the smallest, most inessential ones, as the expression of the thought, the experience, the imagination, or the unconscious of the author, or, indeed, of the historical determinations that operated upon him.The Archaeology of Knowledge begins at the level of "things aid" and moves quickly to illuminate the connections between knowledge, language, and action in a style at once profound and personal.

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/5(22). MICHEL FOUCAULT THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF KNOWLEDGE AND THE I)ISCQURSE ON LANGUAGE Translated from the French by A.

M. Sheridan Smith PANTHEON BOOKS, NEW YORK. The Archeology of Knowledge is Foucault's attempt, after the fact, to describe theoretically the method he used in his first three books of history (Madness and Civilization,The Birth of the Clinic, and The Order of Things).

And the Discourse on Language

This is, then, not the presentation of a formal theory built logically from. The use of concepts of discontinuity, rupture, threshold, limit, series, and transformation present all historical analysis not only with questions of . Source: The Archaeology of Knowledge (), publ.

Routledge, The First 3 Chapters of main body of work are reproduced here. And the great problem presented by such historical analyses is not how continuities are established, how a single pattern is formed and preserved, how for so many. Foucault’s book The Archaeology of Knowledge is about the conditions, rules and systems of dispersion of discourse.

Ultimately, this book is an analysis of the relation between the formation of knowledge and power.

The Archaeology of Knowledge & The Discourse on Language by Michel Foucault