Foucault News

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

Michael Maidan, Review of Elisabetta Basso, “Young Foucault: The Lille Manuscripts on Psychopathology, Phenomenology, and Anthropology, 1952-1955.” . Foreword by Bernard E. Harcourt. Translated by Marie Satya McDonough, Philosophy in Review, Vol. 43 No. 1 (2023), 7-10 : February
Open access

As formulated appropriately by Bernard Harcourt in his foreword —even if he is not using Foucault’s strict technical sense for this term—Elisabetta Basso’s book is a ‘genealogy of Archaeology’ (x). From that point of view, the title does not give full credit to this work. Indeed, Basso’s book develops a strong interpretation of the development of Foucault’s archaeology, which considers not only Foucault’s works of the 1960s but also his earlier published and non-published work of the first half of the 1950s.

Elisabetta Basso is both a beneficiary of the mother lode (lecture drafts, book drafts, reading notes, philosophical diaries, etc.) yielded by the recent opening of Foucault archives and an active participant in the collective enterprise to classify, transcribe, edit, and publish Foucault’s early texts. Basso was the editor of Foucault’s essay on the existential psychiatrist Ludwig Binswanger (2021). She also co-edited, together with Jean-François Bert, the volume Foucault à Münsterlingen: À l’origine de l’Histoire de la folie, Avec des photographies de Jacqueline Verdeaux (2015).


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