Continental Philosophy


Who was Michel Foucault?

Michel Foucault (1926–1984) was an acclaimed French philosopher who also had French licenses in psychology and psychopathology. His father and both grandfathers were medical doctors, and the ways in which he analyzed European culture, through an archeology of concepts, probably owes as much to medical diagnostic methodology as it does to continental intellectual criticism.

His principle works are his published dissertation, Madness and Unreason: A History of Madness in the Classical Age (1961), The Birth of the Clinic (1963), The Order of Things (1966), The Archaeology of Knowledge (1969), Discipline and Punish: The Origin of the Prison (1975) and the multi-volume History of Sexuality (1974). The Order of Things was a best seller in France, leading to his world-wide fame. In that book, Foucault argued that sciences do not simply pop up as sources of truth on their own, but require prior ideas of human nature and truth in order to be supported and accepted as sciences.


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