Sabot, Philippe. “Michel Foucault in the 1950s: Beyond Psychology towards Radical Ontology.” Theory, Culture & Society, (May 2022). https://doi.org/10.1177/02632764221092312.
This paper is based on the archives of Michel Foucault collected (since 2013) at the Manuscripts Department of the Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris. Our investigation focuses in particular on a complete manuscript, until now totally unknown and entitled ‘Phénoménologie et psychologie’ (‘Phenomenology and Psychology’). This manuscript could be the first project for a thesis devoted to ‘The Notion of the “World” in Phenomenology’, written around 1953–4, at the same time as a manuscript on Binswanger and existential psychiatry and as a manuscript on philosophical anthropology. We aim to show the importance that phenomenology seems to have held for Foucault at the beginning of the 1950s and in particular the role that it could have played in Foucault’s distancing himself from a naturalist psychology and a philosophy of consciousness to which he opposes a philosophy of the world, of being and of language. Foucault thus discovers a truth of the phenomenology which rests on the radicality of the transcendental gesture and on the access to an ontology gathering the being, the meaning and the language.
Michel Foucault, Edmund Husserl, ontology, phenomenology, psychology, world