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Michel Foucault: Beyond Structuralism and Hermeneutics 2nd Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
So Dreyfus and Rabinow's slender volume was a welcome relief. They have the philosophical background required to get a handle on what's going on in Foucault's discourse on discourse, and they had considerable access to the Man Himself to keep them on the straight and narrow. Their work follows the text very closely, and can help the careful reader identify the themes, arguments, and (most notably) tensions that run through these books.
If you've read anything by Foucault, I cannot recommend this book strongly enough. Even if it's unable to reveal anything new to you, it will bring the works into a sharper focus and help you realize the place any given volume occupied in the overall project of Foucault's career.
While I have read the "genealogy," I'm in no way an expert on the later works and cannot vouch for Dreyfus and Rabinow's authority concerning them. But given the sensitivity and alacrity with which the first four works are treated, I'm fairly confident they will provide rock-steady guidance for Foucault's examination of power and the institutions the wield it.
I have never been a fan of Foucault or the cult that has sprung up around him in seemingly every corner of the academic world, but Dreyfus and Rabinow at least convinced me that Foucault had something to say and explained what that was more clearly than Foucault ever managed to himself. I highly recommend this book, but it would help to have some background in philosophy (i.e. Kant) before you read it -- probably not required, but it would be helpful.
I am not a scholar, not an academic, not a student of philosophy. I am just a person who has an interest and desire to understand more about life and the ways of knowing it.
As such, I was apprehensive about venturing into Foucault - having only kindergarten knowledge of post-structuralism - fearing any book (whatever its claims) would either be a condescending simplification ("Beginners guide to -" , "- for dummies") or wall of esoteric semantics and impenetrable gibberish.
But to my amazement this book couldn't have been more useful or appropriate.
The book managed to explain the overriding project of Foucault and as well explain in clear language what the problems and solutions Foucault offered (keep in mind my position as a stranger to Foucault, I cannot speak for the _accuracy_ of the text, only whether or not it manages to explain the theories they posit). The true mark of genius is how the book know exactly when to move forward and when to stop and elaborate. Whenever I found myself confused, the text would somehow become aware of this and reiterate the problem in different terms.
Moving at a comfortable pace through most of Foucaults key concepts, it seems to give a good foundation for further investigation. I'll repeat: It's neither a dummies guide nor a academic secret code. In fact, I'm hard pressed to place the book in a category.
Instead I'll say that the book was a Godsend for someone like me wanting to know more about Foucault and finding the dummies-guide's too simplistic.
(Though, perhaps, the beginners and dummies guide gave me a foundation more required that I am aware of.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is simply the best introduction to the philosophy of Foucault and its ongoing significance.Published 17 months ago by Stephen A. Sanders
This is a superb commentary. And as stated elsewhere, the brevity and clarity of the exposition has no peer in the "discourse" on Foucault. Read morePublished on January 25, 2011 by j_
Hubert Dreyfus and Paul Rainbow have written a lucid explication of the major ideas of the late Michel Foucault with this brief volume. Read morePublished on January 13, 2009 by Steiner
I haven't yet read all of this book but I think this book is very useful and helpful to understand the thought of Foucault that is hard to understand. Read morePublished on May 24, 2008 by Yasushi Makino
This book has been numbered as the most authoritative interpretation of Foucault. The main question of the book is how to classify Foucault¡¯s thought. Read morePublished on July 24, 2002 by Suckwoo Lee