Michel Foucault Maurice Cranston - Essay

Maurice Cranston

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Michel Foucault has for some years been the most prominent French practitioner of the history of ideas….

Foucault, who is in his forties, has always wanted to make a break with the preceding generation of fashionable French intellectuals, led by men like Sartre and Merleau-Ponty, with their Germanic love of total metaphysics, and their austere rebarbative styles. Foucault has restored pleasure to French philosophy: what he has failed to restore is clarity. One thing, indeed, which he has never hitherto made clear is the nature of his own activity as a theorist. He does not like to be called a historian: and his own word for what he does is "archaeology." His latest book [The Archaeology of...

(The entire section is 553 words.)