• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Michel Foucault's work is one of the most influential sources of ideas in the humanities and social sciences today. Clare O'Farrell offers a comprehensive and accessible introduction to Foucault's enormous, diverse and challenging output. Her book provides a range of practical tools and a reference work for readers who wish to understand and apply his ideas at both introductory and advanced levels. This volume includes: a discussion of Foucault's situation in the contemporary context exploring his role as an iconic thinker, with clear explanations as to why his work is so difficult to come to grips with, and also importantly, why it is of interest to so many people; the location of Foucault's work within its own historical, social and political setting; brief summaries in chronological order of all of Foucault's major works, including the more recently published volumes of lectures; the organization of Foucault's work around five distinct but interrelated series of assumptions which underpin his world view: namely order, history, truth, power and ethics. Ideas for which he is well-known, such as archaeology, genealogy, discourse, discipline, governmentality, the subject and others are defined and discussed within the framework of these five assumptions. - a chronology of Foucault's life, work and times; a very extensive list of key concepts in Foucault's work with detailed references pointing to where the relevant material can be found in his writings; a wide-ranging list of resources and a bibliography of Foucault's work for easy consultation.

Seven Truth and Culture
Seven truth and culture
Principle 3: Truth

Truth plays a major role in the way Foucault structures his writings. It could even be argued that his entire work is one long effort to reinstate a form of truth that has been consistently marginalised since Descartes – a form of truth that relies on history, on patient and constant work and ‘exercise’ by every individual in their daily lives in the world. It is a form of truth that is accessible to, and is indeed revealed by, the most marginalised of individuals – mad people, ill people, prisoners, those designated as ‘abnormal’. It is a truth that does not have a fixed and unchanging content and is not the province of a privileged few, ...

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