Day 317 — Michel Foucault

An influencer on not only philosophical thought but social sciences, Michel Foucault was a French historian — and philosopher. He’s primarily known for his work in post-structuralism, postmodernism and deconstructionism. Since the 1960s, his work investigated the ‘archaeology’ and ‘genealogy’ of knowledge, on whether objective knowledge or universal reason exists, and what if it doesn’t.

Early in his career, Foucault studied Marxism and existentialism, but within his works like The History of Madness and The Archeology of Knowledge, he questioned whether there were standards of truth or falsity, outside of culturally created frameworks of language. To the end of his life he reflected on the relationship of power and knowledge and whether forces in history limited human freedom.

Further Resources:

The Foucault Society Site

Rick Roderick on Foucault — The Partially Examined Life