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Michel Foucault: Beyond Structuralism and Hermeneutics Paperback

ISBN-13: 978-0226163123 ISBN-10: 0226163121 Edition: 2nd

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Michel Foucault: Beyond Structuralism and Hermeneutics + The Foucault Reader + The History of Sexuality, Vol. 1: An Introduction
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 271 pages
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press; 2nd edition (December 15, 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226163121
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226163123
  • Product Dimensions: 2.4 x 3.7 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #73,691 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Paul Rabinow is a professor of anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley.  

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Customer Reviews

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Actually, he denied the meaning-giving subject with advocating the disappearance of the subject.
Suckwoo Lee
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.
Lu Xun
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.
Brett Palomar

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Brett Palomar on December 20, 2005
Format: Paperback
I did my dissertation on Foucault's archaeology (his first four books), and this required me to acquaint myself with much of the secondary literature concerning his thought. The bulk of this literature seems to be coming from critical theory and culture studies, and it is, well, not very good. Literature and sociology writers are fond of quote-mining his work, and the views I took from their articles almost convinced me that we had read different books.

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.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By "mshockle" on March 26, 2000
Format: Paperback
Indeed, Dreyfus and Rabinow have "cleared up" much of Foucaults difficult methods. I would say that reading this does not excuse anyone from Foucaults works; it could be read alongside them to help clarify themes and connect seemingly useless portions that most people would like to skip through. Besides, without actually reading Foucault you are missing out on some of the most profound, stylistic, and original philosophy of the twentieth century. An excellent introduction and guide, but comprehensive enough to warrant FIVE stars. Trust me. Dreyfus and Rabinow have written a surprisingly original book here; their view and support of Foucault as "beyond structuralism and hermeneutics" is brilliantly explained.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Lu Xun on September 28, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having read most of Foucault and some of the jargon-laced incoherence that passes for scholarship on his work, I'd say this is the clearest, most coherent text you will find on Foucault. Dreyfus is a great explainer and clarifier of other philosophers (if he can rescue Heidegger from the being-in-the-swamp of his own verbiage, he can rescue anyone), and in this case, he makes Foucault clearer than I thought possible. Also, Dreyfus knew Foucault at Berkeley and was invited by Foucault to lecture in France, so I'm sure this personal connection gave him additional insight into Foucault's project.

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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By j_ on January 25, 2011
Format: Paperback
This is a superb commentary. And as stated elsewhere, the brevity and clarity of the exposition has no peer in the "discourse" on Foucault. There are rarely commentaries that are as enjoyable to read regardless of its object of interpretation. The solid, brief prose is a case study on commentary techne as it illuminates his inspired creativity while "faithfully" unwrapping his concepts. The afterword and interview (second edition) exposes the partial dissonance between the interpretation of Foucault's work by Dreyfus and Rabinow and Foucault's own reflections on his "central theme", Bio-Power. For a book about the problem of interpretation, it does well to expose its own interpretedness.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Steiner VINE VOICE on January 13, 2009
Format: Paperback
Hubert Dreyfus and Paul Rainbow have written a lucid explication of the major ideas of the late Michel Foucault with this brief volume. This is primarily a methodological assessment of Foucault's work, from his archaeological inquiries of asylums, clinics, and prisons, to his brilliant work assessing the 'discursive formations' of the Enlightenment in 'The Order of Things.' There are also excellent chapters regarding Foucault's work in 'The History of Sexuality,' from his interpretation of bio-power to the care of the self. This is not a totally positive appraisal of Foucault's challenging body of work, whose disparate projects failed to be unified in an intelligible and overarching theory of power. However, Foucault comes across as an immensely brilliant and provocative thinker and historian who refused to naively accept reductive programs of social change. This is a very clear and thorough work of scholarship.
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