Other Sellers on Amazon
+ Free Shipping
How To Read Foucault Paperback – October 1, 2007
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Customers who bought this item also bought
About the Author
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
This complexity does not mean that this is too advanced for an introduction, far from it. In fact, I think the way Oksala puts Foucault's methods and concepts on display is very accessible and useful.
This book, like others in the series, is an excellent tool for newcomers and for more seasoned scholars as well, which is a rare feat and a very valuable service. This one is almost like having an introductory course on Foucault in a book, and for quite a bargain price, which makes it well worth a look.
I can recall reading the English translation of The Will To Power in the summer of 1968 before I realized how soon I would be drafted and sent to Vietnam as a matter of administrative routine. Nietzsche helped form a link with Walter Kaufmann, who produced an English translation of The Gay Science in 1974. Now in How To Read Foucault (2007, 2008) by Johanna Oksala, I find a description of homosexuality as pathology:
homosexuality was removed
from the mental illness category
of the American Psychiatric Association,
for example, as late as 1974. (p. 12).
Foucault (1926-1984) was only five years younger than Walter Kaufmann (July 1, 1921 to September 4, 1980), but he provided a more subversive direction for philosophy to take after the exhaustion of existentialism.
The point is to understand ourselves
in order to be able to think and live differently. . . .
His histories are not about the past,
they are about us, today,
and they represent an attempt to show
not only how we have become what we are,
but also how we could become something else. (p.11).
Social control which depends on the way "language constructs reality" (p. 3) is far more actively thwarted by the crimes against humor of Lenny Bruce than by the negative theopathic state produced by absorbing the limits of human existence in an extremely collective unconscious. Foucault examined science as ways power was exercised by authorities. My own protest took the form:
Anyone can make a fool of himself by drawing attention to the kind of mess that only a fool would admit. My attempts to protest a pornographication of power which came naturally to me, like tree snakes rippling upward in your bong water, seem intellectual because they have so much in common with Freud's ideas on wit and the unconscious corners a mind finds in jokes. A looping effect like "homophobic power relations" (p. 15) is likely to attract any person who stands out like Samson in a crowd in Saint Paul, Minnesota.