The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences

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Psychology Press, 2002 - Philosophy - 422 pages
When one defines "order" as a sorting of priorities, it becomes beautifully clear as to what Foucault is doing here. With virtuoso showmanship, he weaves an intensely complex history of thought. He dips into literature, art, economics and even biology in The Order of Things, possibly one of the most significant, yet most overlooked, works of the twentieth century. Eclipsed by his later work on power and discourse, nonetheless it was The Order of Things that established Foucault's reputation as an intellectual giant. Pirouetting around the outer edge of language, Foucault unsettles the surface of literary writing. In describing the limitations of our usual taxonomies, he opens the door onto a whole new system of thought, one ripe with what he calls "exotic charm". Intellectual pyrotechnics from the master of critical thinking, this book is crucial reading for those who wish to gain insight into that odd beast called Postmodernism, and a must for any fan of Foucault.
 

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User Review  - anandrajan - www.librarything.com

I don't get it. Or perhaps there's no it to get. Between I and it there's a get but also a don't and if there's no I, perhaps it doesn't get not it. If I gets not it and it doesn't get I, does not I get not it, perhaps not. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Stevil2001 - www.librarything.com

I think this might be Foucault's Foucaultest book (that I've read), which is to say he just kind of goes, "What is science?" and freewheels from there; it's a lot less focused than some of his other ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Las Meninas
3
The Prose of the World
19
II Signatures
28
III The Limits of the World
33
IV The Writings of Things
38
V The Being of Language
46
Representing
51
II Order
55
V The Creation of of Value
206
VI Utility
213
VII General Table
218
VIII Desire and Representation
226
The Limits of Representation
235
II The Measure of Labour
240
III The Organic Structure of Beings
245
IV Word Inflection
252

III The Representation of the Sign
64
IV Duplicated Representation
70
V The Imagination of Resemblance
74
VI Mathesis and Taxinomia
79
Speaking
86
II General Grammar
90
III The Theory of the Verb
101
IV Articulation
106
V Designation
114
VI Derivation
121
VII The Quadrilateral of Language
127
Classifying
136
II Natural History
139
III Structure
144
IV Character
150
V Continuity and Catastrophe
158
VI Monsters and Fossils
164
VII The Discourse of Nature
171
Exchanging
180
II Money and Prices
183
III Mercantilism
189
IV The Pledge and the Price
196
V Ideology and Criticism
257
VI Objective Syntheses
264
Labour Life Language
272
II Ricardo
275
III Cuvier
287
IV Bopp
305
V Language Become Object
321
Man and His Doubles
330
II The Place of the King
335
III The Analytic of Finitude
340
IV The Empirical and the Transcendental
347
V The Cogito and the Unthought
351
VI The Retreat and Return of the Origin
358
VII Discourse and Mans Being
366
VIII The Anthropological Sleep
371
The Human Sciences
375
II The Form of the Human Sciences
380
III The Three Models
387
IV History
400
V Psychoanalysis and Ethnology
407
VI In Conclusion
421
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About the author (2002)

Michel Foucault (1926-84). Celebrated French thinker and activist who challenged people's assumptions about care of the mentally ill, gay rights, prisons, the police and welfare.

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