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By Michel Foucault

In France, a rustic that awards its intellectuals the prestige different international locations supply their rock stars, Michel Foucault was once a part of a glittering iteration of thinkers, one that additionally integrated Sartre, de Beauvoir and Deleuze. one of many nice highbrow heroes of the 20th century, Foucault was once a guy whose ardour and cause have been on the provider of approximately each innovative reason for his time. From legislation and order, to psychological health and wellbeing, to energy and data, he spearheaded public knowledge of the dynamics that carry us all in thrall to some strong ideologies and pursuits. Arguably his most interesting paintings, Archaeology of Knowledge is a demanding yet beautifully profitable creation to his rules.

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Extra resources for Archaeology of Knowledge (Routledge Classics)

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1. As we have seen — and there is probably no need to reiterate it — when one speaks of a system of formation, one does not only mean the juxtaposition, coexistence, or interaction of heterogeneous elements (institutions, techniques, social groups, perceptual organizations, relations between various discourses), but also the relation that is ((81)) established between them — and in a well determined form — by dis-cursive practice. But what is to he done with those four systems or rather those four groups of relations?

And to see whether that definition really was present in my earlier descriptions; to see whether I really was dealing with the statement in my analysis of discursive formations. On several occasions I have used the term 'statement', either to speak of a population of statements (as if I were dealing with individuals or isolated events), or in order to distinguish it from the groups that I called 'discourses' (as the part is distinguished from the whole). At first sight, the statement appears as an ultimate, undecomposable element that can be isolated and introduced into a set of relations with other similar elements.

In any case, the rules governing the formation of concepts, however generalized the concepts may be, are not the result, laid down in history and deposited in. the depth of collective customs, of operations carried out by individuals; they do not constitute the bare schema of a whole obscure work, in the course of which concepts would be made to emerge through illusions, prejudices, errors, and traditions. The preconceptual field allows the emergence of the dis-cursive regularities and constraints that have made possible the heterogeneous multiplicity of concepts, and, beyond these the profusion of the themes, beliefs, and representations with which one usually deals when one is writing the history of ideas.

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