Arun Iyer, Towards an Epistemology of Ruptures The Case of Heidegger and Foucault. Bloomsbury, 2014
See also Review by H.A. Nethery at Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews
By systematically uncovering and comprehensively examining the epistemological implications of Heidegger’s history of being and Foucault’s archaeology of discursive formations, Towards an Epistemology of Ruptures shows how Heidegger and Foucault significantly expand the notions of knowledge and thought. This is done by tracing their path-breaking responses to the question: What is the object of thought? The book shows how for both thinkers thought is not just the act by which the object is represented in an idea, and knowledge not just a state of the mind of the individual subject corresponding to the object. Each thinker, in his own way, argues that thought is a productive event in which the subject and the object gain their respective identity and knowledge is the opening up of a space in which the subject and object can encounter each other and in which true and false statements about an object become possible. They thereby lay the ground for a new conceptual framework for rethinking the very relationship between knowledge and its object.
Table Of Contents
Abbreviations of Frequently Cited Texts
1. Heidegger’s Reformulation of the Essence of Thought (I): From the Transcendental Power of the Imagination to the Ontological Power of Thought
2. Heidegger’s Reformulation of the Essence of Thought (II): On the Relationship between Thought and Being
3. Heidegger’s Reformulation of the Essence of Knowledge: From Husserl’s Transcendental Idealism to Heidegger’s Historical Ontology
4. Foucault’s Reformulation of the Essence of Thought in The Order of Things
5. Foucault’s Reformulation of the Essence of Knowledge: From Husserlian Phenomenology to Foucauldian Archaeology
“Epistemology as traditionally conceived seeks to determine the nature of knowledge and justification. Its point of departure is Plato’s critique of the relativism of Protagoras, who according to Plato erred by accepting Heraclitus’ construal of being as becoming. Truth, knowledge, and justification must be grounded in timeless entities of some sort. Arun Iyer shows how Heidegger and Foucault reverse this Platonic argument. For them, truth, knowledge, and justification are irreducibly historical. Iyer’s elaboration of their views is subtle, original, and thought-provoking.” – Andrew Cutrofello, Professor of Philosophy, Loyola University Chicago, USA
“This book makes it clear how one can develop a strictly epistemological approach to thinkers as complex as Husserl, Heidegger, and Foucault, and how one can draw basic consequences from their thoughts for a theory of knowledge that admits of breaks, ruptures, and discontinuously emerging epistemic formations. Moreover, it shows how a historical thinking in philosophy can be elaborated without having recourse to any aprioristic philosophy of history. Finally, it provides a lucid analysis of the historical conditions human knowledge finds itself submitted to. For all of these reasons, it is a highly remarkable contribution to contemporary continental European philosophy.” – Laszlo Tengelyi, of Bergische Universität Wuppertal, Germany.