Archaeology and Humanism: An Incongruent Foucault

Kritike 4 (1):1-17 (2010)
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Abstract

Atension exists in Foucault’s writings concerning his alleged antihumanism. While his early archaeological period is taken to sediment his post-structuralist, anti-humanist methodology, Foucault still lets humanism creep into his writing, particularly in his later work. In the spirit of charity, I consider two ways of reading Foucault to overcome this tension: either emphasize his post-structuralism over his humanist leanings or take his humanism seriously and minimize his post-structuralism. After analysis, neither reading is adequate. I conclude that Foucault’s oeuvre is best understood simply as incongruent, contrary to his own remarks to unify his writings and methodologies.

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Chris Calvert-Minor
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

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