Foucault: His Thought, His Character / Edition 1

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Michel Foucault and Paul Veyne: the philosopher and the historian. Two major figures in the world of ideas, resisting all attempts at categorization. Two timeless thinkers who have long walked and fought together. In this short book Paul Veyne offers a fresh portrait of his friend and relaunches the debate about his ideas and legacy. ‘Foucault is not who you think he is’, writes Veyne; he stood neither on the left nor on the right and was frequently disowned by both. He was not so much a structuralist as a sceptic, an empiricist disciple of Montaigne, who never ceased in his work to reflect on 'truth games', on singular, constructed truths that belonged to their own time.

A unique testimony by a scholar who knew Foucault well, this book succeeds brilliantly in grasping the core of his thought and in stripping away the confusions and misunderstandings that have so often characterized the interpretation of Foucault and his work.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Paul Veyne's quirky and involving book is an idiosyncratic andpersonal tribute, which is obviously, and movingly, deeplyfelt."
The Philosophers' Magazine

"Foucault is well- known as one of the most influential thinkersof the twentieth century. Writing from his profound knowledge ofthe man, Paul Veyne here vividly brings out his character andpersonality."
Geoffrey Lloyd, University of Cambridge

"It is fascinating to follow Paul Veyne’s engagement withFoucault: he was extremely close to Foucault, as the celebratedhistory of sexuality developed as a project, and this essay, whichmixes reminiscences with argument and reflection, captures a realflavour of the  intellectual excitement of those times."
Simon Goldhill, University of Cambridge

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780745646411
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 10/12/2010
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 216
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul Veyne is Honorary Professor at the Collège deFrance.

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Table of Contents

  • I. In universal history, everything is singular: ‘discourse’

  • II. There is no ‘a priori’ that is not historical

  • III. Foucault’s scepticism

  • IV. Archaeology

  • V. Universalism, universals, epigenesis: the beginnings of Christianity

  • VI. Notwithstanding Heidegger, man is an intelligent animal

  • VII. The physical and human sciences: Foucault’s programme

  • VIII. A sociological history of truths: knowledge, power, the set-up

  • IX. Was Foucault a corrupter of the young? Was he the despair of the workers’ movement?

  • X. Foucault and politics

  • XI. Portrait of a samurai

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