Foucault and the Writing of History
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About "Foucault and the Writing of History"
Although Michel Foucault trained as a philosopher, his writings were almost entirely in the domain of history* fields he sought to combine and, in every sense, to de-discipline. Yet Foucault's readers have consistently singled out his philosophy for intensive discussion. This volume addresses his influence and the potential of his work in the understanding and the writing of history. Scholars from the United States, France and Italy, including historians, sociologists, an anthropologist and a philosopher, cover the full complement of Foucault's writing - on eros and the family in classical antiquity, the constitution of the self, the history of science and sexuality, and the origins of the liberal state.;But, true to its subject, this book does not conceive of history divorced from philosophy* it explores how Foucault's understanding of the past relates to his ideas of truth, ethics, knowledge and action, and seeks above all to explain and to assess the subversive and liberating value of, and the possible distortions inherent in, Foucault's notion of genealogy, his substitute for history in its traditional guise. The authors examine and explicate Foucault's writings, and apply them to the interpretation of different cultures - to the nature, for instance, of desire and sexual identity in late antiquity - and of events, to adopting a Foucauldian perspective to arrive at radically different interpretations of the French Revolution. Others question Foucault's factual selectivity or economy with the truth - in relation, for example, to homosexuality among the Romans.