Foucault The Order Of Things Summary

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Book review
Foucault, Michel.(1970) The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences,
Pantheon Books.
Michael Foucault (1926-1984) was a French philosopher. He was professor at desk
College de France, which he named as History of the system of the thought. His works had huge influence on human and social science in the second half of the 20th century. His work is related to the disciplines: philosophy of history, cultural study, sociology, education, theory of the literature, etc. He is famous as a critic of social institutions, mostly psychiatry, medicine and prison system, as well for his ideas about history of sexuality.
His general theories concerns relations between power, as well as between knowledge and power, and also ideas
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He did not accepted even to be classified as postmodernist, saying that he would rather discuss about definition of modernism. In this book Foucault does not apply structural methods, developing problematically and speculative his thought round basic problems of structuralism. Between him and Claude
Levi- Strauss are differences in understanding. For example, Levi Strauss affirms human nature, universality of human spirit, universal man. On contrary, for Foucault the notion of the man is fake – there is no firm elements of human spirit. He investigates functioning of the western spirit from Renaissance till today, trying to understand epochs of our culture in the
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way that will show some kind of wild thought of the epoch, unconscious systems which are erasing every meaning of the one cultural epoch.
That space of order, a priori history of one period, Foucault named using Greek word episteme. Investigating the episteme, he is exploring the lows which are ruling through the statements and rhetoric of the one age, without recalling any kind of subject of the
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That episteme is based on the symbolic-spiritual understanding of the things.
Language is a system of the signs. In the duration of one episteme, all speeches are in its network, without exceptions. We can say that what Foucault is naming episteme, is that what
Maurice Halbwachs is naming the context, or definite social milieux (1980), and Nora milieux de memoire (1989). The episteme is unconscious, it is holding us hard because we do not recognize it. Episteme is ahistorical, even if it is presenting the phase in the history of speech of the one culture, on it’s field, it does not forming itself in time continuity. It is becoming enigmatically. Time does not exist like dynamic factor. Speech is existing on its own, considering the place on the epistemological field.
In the end of the Renaissance, harmony between words and things is disappearing.
Instead of similarity, we have identities and differences. The truth is now manifested in the obvious and clear impressions. The language is not any more in the first plan, it is transparent
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