The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences

The Order of Things An Archaeology of the Human Sciences Librarian note an alternate cover for this edition can be found here With vast erudition Foucault cuts across disciplines and reaches back into seventeenth century to show how classical systems of kn

  • Title: The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences
  • Author: Michel Foucault
  • ISBN: 9780679753353
  • Page: 427
  • Format: Paperback
  • Librarian note an alternate cover for this edition can be found here.With vast erudition, Foucault cuts across disciplines and reaches back into seventeenth century to show how classical systems of knowledge, which linked all of nature within a great chain of being and analogies between the stars in the heavens and the features in a human face, gave way to the modern scieLibrarian note an alternate cover for this edition can be found here.With vast erudition, Foucault cuts across disciplines and reaches back into seventeenth century to show how classical systems of knowledge, which linked all of nature within a great chain of being and analogies between the stars in the heavens and the features in a human face, gave way to the modern sciences of biology, philology, and political economy The result is nothing less than an archaeology of the sciences that unearths old patterns of meaning and reveals the shocking arbitrariness of our received truths.In the work that established him as the most important French thinker since Sartre, Michel Foucault offers startling evidence that man man as a subject of scientific knowledge is at best a recent invention, the result of a fundamental mutation in our culture.

    655 Comment

    • Trevor says:

      I hadn't expected this book to be nearly as interesting as it turned out to be. Unfortunately, I've only just finished it and I suspect I'm going to need to think about it for a while yet before I really understand some of the arguments here - but this is a stunningly interesting book. I've a feeling that if you looked up 'erudite' in the dictionary This book was written on the basis of a joke by Borges - where in a short story Borges gives a definition of animals from a supposed Chinese encyclo [...]

    • Khawla Al jafari says:

      لنتفق أنّ قراءة فوكو مرهقة لأنّهُ يستقرئ المعرفة بطريقة أفقية ؛ فخطابه من أوله لآخره تاريخي وفي الآن ذاته يحفر بعمق العمق . حاولت فهم منهجه وآلية تفكيره لكنني لم أصل حتّى الآن لتصوّر واضح وعلمي ومتكامل لكن سأحاول إيجاز ما خلصت به من هذا الكتاب على هيئة نقاط .- الأشياء تتغيّر ل [...]

    • Daniel Bastian says:

      "Between language and the theory of nature there exists therefore a relation that is of a critical type; to know nature is, in fact, to build upon the basis of language a true language, one that will reveal the conditions in which all language is possible and the limits within which it can have a domain of validity." (p. 161)There's no need to beat around the bush: The Order of Things is, bar none, the densest read on my shelf to date. Philosophy tyros steer clear; an entry-level text this is no [...]

    • Bradley says:

      I have now devoted nearly three months to doing close readings of nearly every book by Michel Foucault. I can die happy :) Except, I'm more confused! I know less now than I did before. And that's precisely the point. We are still living with Philosophical ideas from the Classical Period (i.e. humanism, Neo-Classical Liberalism, Capitalism, etc.). Yet Foucault shows, time and time again, that the institutions established during the Classical Period have taken on a life of their own, often times v [...]

    • DoctorM says:

      One of those books that I keep coming back to again and again. "The Order of Things" (the French title, "Words and Things" is probably more precise) is one of those key books that re-orders the way you think. It begins with a classic and bravura passage--- an analysis of Velasquez's "Las Meninas" ---that should be required reading for anyone interested in exegesis or hermeneutics. The book goes on to discuss how we categorise and valorise knowledge--- how we choose to draw the boundaries of the [...]

    • Alex Lee says:

      In this impressive book, Foucault takes on the basic organizational episteme of our current epoch. He highlights the contemporary modality of our post-modern world by tracing the development of our episteme from the 16th century to the present day.While this may seem to be a simple tale of historical causation Foucault says explicitly on several occasions that he cannot account for the break between the end of the 19th century and the start of the 20th century. What he is referring to has severa [...]

    • Stef Rozitis says:

      It is quite possible that there was a lot more to this book than I got out of it, and that Foucault's thinking might have been extremely exciting if only I could have decoded it. I am not annoyed at the use of so many long and unfamiliar words, because sometimes long words do say something that shorter words can't. I am not irritated that I had to look up lots of words nor that I had to struggle with the definitions to try to get my head around unfamiliar ways of thinkingI would expect all that [...]

    • Dan says:

      Foucault is hard to categorize. Some see him as a post-structuralist, others argue that he is a new historicist. I think he sees himself as a descendant of Friedrich Nietzsche.The first part of this book is great simply on the level of entertainment. Foucault's analysis of Velazquez's Las Meninas stands out as an essay that can be read on its own. I also enjoyed Foucault's discussion of Don Quixote.The latter part of the book is much more of a historical study. Foucault has an interesting theory [...]

    • Billie Pritchett says:

      I don't really know what to make of Michel Foucault's The Order of Things. Some things appear to be true in it, and other things new. The things that are true aren't new, and the things that are new aren't true. Foucault argues that there was a turning point in understanding and inquiry which occurred during the 18th century, perhaps near the tail end. All fine so far, and that is surely one way to divide up intellectual history. Foucault is right that the Age of Enlightenment brought about new [...]

    • Lukáš says:

      Perhaps the most useful book for getting together some of the Foucault's ideas scattered through his work. First, by putting together a history of epistemes of labour, life and language, showing the patterns of discontinuity, this one offers Focuault a lot of space to elaborate on the current (or perhaps his current) structure of thought about the human sciences. One could clearly discover where the importance of subjectivity, normality and life (biopower) have played role in the formation of mo [...]

    • Dr. Lloyd E. Campbell says:

      I had read the first chapter of this book in a book club. The subject of the book club was Diego Velasquez' painting Las Meninas, generally considered-the most provocative painting in the history of art. The painting 's subject can be a little girl, the king and queen of Spain, the artist or the viewer-you. It's all about perspective. According to Foucault you create the reality of the painting by the language you use to describe the painting. The artist's intent doesn't matter to you. What matt [...]

    • Darran Mclaughlin says:

      I'm finished in the sense that I know I'm not going to pick it up and continue again any time soon. I made it to page 273, but I have found it a bit too boring and difficult to find the discipline to continue.What Foucault has to say is fairly interesting, but after getting the gist of the idea from the introduction, and (to be honest) a synopsis of the contents I don't think there's much to be gained from actually reading the book. I understand the idea of paradigm shift's in our body of knowle [...]

    • Lance says:

      As with most of Foucault's work, this book oscillates between barely discernible prose, discussion of obscure texts, and moments of clear profundity that will blow your mind. Foucault's overall argument is fairly simple, at least in today's context, where many of Foucault's ideas and methods are often taken as a priori. Basically, shifts in epistemes created a space where "man" appeared as an object of study. The human sciences didn't appear because of new enlightened ideas, but because the disc [...]

    • Mercurio Cadena says:

      Me llevó un rato, pero por fin lo acabé. Foucault es oscuro, pero una vez que se le agarra el hilo, termina por ser más bello que oscuro, y eso sí: contundente.Si le interesan los temas epistemológicos, este libro es imperdible. Contiene una muy fina explicación arqueológica de por qué, como posmodernos, hemos entrado en crisis en nuestras búsquedas funcionalistas de conocimiento y sentido.

    • Conor says:

      I'd be lying if I said that I found reading this book pleasant - it's super dense, even compared to Foucault's other work. I'd also be lying if I said that it didn't change the way I view thought in the west.

    • Fouletier says:

      Michel Foucault nous délivre dans ce livre sa vision du cheminement de la pensée occidentale du Moyen-âge à nos jours, s'attardant sur le passage à l'âge de la représentation à partir du XVI ème siècle, que le tableau:Les Ménines de Velasquez symbolise à ses yeux.

    • Rachel says:

      This book is about how we're all just an empirico-transcendental doublet strapped to the back of a tiger. Now that I've read it the only thing I know is that Foucault is totally gay for Nietzsche—"he was so wise, he knew so much, he wrote such good books." Nietzsche!

    • David M says:

      The death of man turns out to be one big fat anti-climax. It's just a melodramatic way of saying the social sciences are changing their focus. Don't be fooled by all the Nietzsche-mongering. The shadow of Kant falls heaviest on this book. An investigation into the knowledge of knowledge.

    • Thomas J. Hubschman says:

      I have been reading Foucault—again. Rereading. Unless you are as quick and clever as he is, you don't just "read" Michel Foucault as if he were a mystery novel or an office memo. He frequently requires the kind of concentration you bring to the solution of a geometry theorem or the translation of an ancient text.I was never very good at either of those activities—mathematics or translation—with a few significant exceptions, significant because what I achieved in each case not only gave me [...]

    • Hesham says:

      مطرقة فوكو ومطرقة قارئ فوكو - جدلية التشابك الهرمنيوطيقي السيد فوكو بارع جداً في الولوج الى هذا الكم المتراكم من الطبقات لما يـسمّى بالمعرفة ، حقيقة القراءة إلى فوكو مرهقة جداً ، الا انها رحلة تستحق هذا العناء . من خلال هذا النص التمست مايُعرف به فوكو عادة ألا وهي مطرقته الني [...]

    • Robert says:

      As I read this unique study, I kept asking myself how I could reduce it to a meaningful comment. For some reason I came up with a thought that does not bear directly on Foucault's work but may have some relation to it.The thought was: Literature is that which otherwise would not be said.I turned this thought over in my mind and was not sure that I knew how I could contradict it and might possibly believe it. In fact, I am still wondering if I will use it as my motto instead of the one that appea [...]

    • Suellen Rubira says:

      quando o pensador é didático ❤

    • Lobo says:

      Re-red. Doktorat in progress.

    • Angel 一匹狼 says:

      Michel Foucault is doing something with words in this book, which is actually trying to make something that should be easy to understand (and explain) quite complicated to follow, as he creates "awesome" sentences that last for ages and paragraphs that defy the laws of mathematics and understanding of the way words can be put in order one after the other. Our friend Foucault has decided that explaining something in an easy to follow way is for people that don't really care about language, philos [...]

    • James R. C. says:

      My examination of The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences produced personal findings of significance. I like order. My house is in order. Let's start with the basic codes "governing language, its schemas of perception, its exchanges, its techniques, its values, the hierarchy of its practice" (xx) in the dynamics of culture. According to Foucault, these provide order and the reflection of order in our experience. A level above resemblance is interpretive. In the signatory, a sig [...]

    • Kieran says:

      Though a difficult text to manage and ridden with complexity, points of internal anxiety, and even requiring some knowledge derived from elsewhere, Foucault's text is an excavation on the order of symbols and the categories of thought which the Classical era brought, especially to Western Europe. Rather than a direct, localised understanding of human history, Foucault's text serves to abstract and dissolve certain concrete concepts which are established within social convention and structure. By [...]

    • Kathleen says:

      The Order of Things is one of the less frequently read books of Foucault's. I can understand why, since it is long (~400 pages), and quite challenging to stick with. Foucault became a better writer throughout his career, so his later works are easier to read. However, this one is still rewarding.A lot of reviewers on here seem to think that the point of this book is that Foucault "doesn't like" the conventional periodization of history. Or, that Foucault wants to dispute where the modern/classic [...]

    • Melani says:

      This is certainly not an easy read, and I have never read it cover to cover. That being said, it is worth digging into this dense terrain to unearth a few of Foucault's best moments. I shall quote a passage from the preface just to give you an idea:This book first arose out of a passage in Borges, out of the laughter that shattered, as I read the passage, all the familiar landmarks of my thought -- our thought, the thought that bears the stamp of our age and our geography - breaking up all the o [...]

    • Michael Burnam-Fink says:

      The Order of Things is Foucault at his most Foucauldian, a grand tour through the history of orderings, discourses, scientific methods, and ultimately Man Himself from the 16th century through the 19th century. He's at his best when he's making the incommensurable theological commentaries of the 16th century readable and relateable for modern eyes. His discussion of the rise of Classical era human sciences of difference, biology, economics, and philology, is deeply read and insightful. The concl [...]

    • Elizabeth says:

      Oh, Foucault. It is impossible to deny his brilliance, yet at the same time difficult to feel like there's much to take from any one of his books that you haven't already gotten from another. I'm inclined, however, to think this isn't actually Foucault's fault, but is the fault of how he's taught. That is, most students first encounter him in the form of Discipline and Punish or the History of Sexuality, after which they are informed by their more "knowledgeable" professors about how these works [...]

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *