Foucault News

News and resources on French thinker Michel Foucault (1926-1984)

Elisabetta Basso. Master’s seminar on “Michel Foucault and Epistemology” at the “Center for Knowledge Research” (“Innovationszentrum Wissensforschung” – IZW) at the Technische Universität in Berlin.

PDF of program

How should a thinker like Foucault, who―in his most famous work, Les mots et les choses―claimed to have “learned more”, as a philosopher, from biologists, linguists, economists “than from Kant or Hegel” be read? Although they are difficult to classify within traditional philosophical questioning (Foucault’s inquiries have indeed gone from the birth of psychiatry to the development of human sciences, from the study of criminal law and penal institutions to the problematization of the “hermeneutic” of the Western subject), the analytical tools outlined by the French philosopher are at the core of the present-day philosophical debate.
The proposed seminar intends to dwell in particular upon the contribution given by Foucault to the contemporary epistemological debate. Beginning with the “archaeological” distinction between “savoir” and “connaissance”, the seminar aims to analyze Foucault’s philosophical approach in the light of the French epistemological tradition and the manifold questions that the latter tackles regarding the role of philosophical thought as it relates to the empirical sciences with which it deals.

Key Words: Epistemology, Knowledge, Experience, Science, Rationality, Relativism, Subjectivity, Language, Historical A Priori.

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