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Understanding Poststructuralism (Understanding Movements in Modern Thought) Paperback – August 16, 2014


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Williams has produced one of the most thoughtful and lucid accounts of poststructuralism available in English. Understanding Poststructuralism is both an indispensable introduction to one of the most influential philosophical movements of recent decades, and a significant critical and intellectual achievement in its own right." - French Studies "An imaginative and bold account of one of the most influential intellectual movements of the late twentieth century. It seeks to rebut widespread misconceptions and respond to legitimate objections to poststructuralist positions, all in remarkably jargon-free prose. It will be a valuable resource for students throughout the humanities and social sciences." - Paul Patton, University of New South Wales "With this book, Williams establishes himself as one of the foremost English-language interpreters of French thought. It not only provides accessible analyses of key figures but also presents a judicious evaluation of the poststructuralist movement as a whole." - Daniel W. Smith, Purdue University

About the Author

James Williams is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Dundee.
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Product Details

  • Series: Understanding Movements in Modern Thought (Book 3)
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (August 16, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844650332
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844650330
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,805,074 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Cosgrove on August 19, 2006
Format: Paperback
Through Williams' exposition (perhaps better, geneology) of a number of important post-structuralist writings, the author italicizes key statements that students might jot down and return to in times of introspection. These passages, as well as his numerous study questions and his guide for further reading, make this text essential reading for those curious about the origins of post-structural thought, its essential theorists, and its political import. That is to say, for all those confounded undergraduates and armchair theorists, Williams provides an excellent introduction and overview to a school of thought whose proponents write from as divergent academic viewpoints as possible.

Throughout, his prose engages the reader and builds an argument for the importance of post-structural thought amongst multiple disciplines, including philosophy, history, geography, economics, feminism, subaltern studies, sociology and anthropology - all the while critically engaging many oppositional voices that often arise in response to post-structural critical encounters with enlightenment (and other) philosophy. Williams' text does not give short thrift to those (humanists, marxists, etc) that aren't aligned with post-structuralism. Instead, he provides counter arguments which allow the reader to make their own decisions concerning his and others' theories. Finally, Williams makes explicit the politics of post-structuralism. To this reader, his emphasis upon post-structuralism as a political movement is a welcome addition to an impressive excavation of the works of Kristeva, Lyotard, Deleuze, Foucault and Derrida.

In addition to the study questions and further reading sections mentioned above, the text also includes a timeline which highlights important post-structural texts and events, and which aids the reader in constructing an evolutionary vision of an extremely important, yet just as fractured, politico-theoretical project. Highly recommended reading.
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