Michel Foucault and the contradictions of modern thought

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The present paper offers a sympathetic yet critical examination of Michel Foucault's discussion (in the final chapters of his book, The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences) of the contradictions inherent in the self-consciousness of the modern or post-Kantian mind. Foucault's account of the "empirico-transcendental doublet" of modern thought is shown to provide a useful mapping of humanist, anti-humanist, and postmodern responses to the reflexivity of the modern "episteme". Foucault is criticized for his insufficiently critical treatment of structuralism (an anti-humanist approach). Foucault is also defended against the charge that he undermines his own position through a form of performative self-contradiction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)323-335
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Philosophy
  • General Psychology


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