Michel Foucault (1926–84) is widely considered to be one of the most influential academic voices of the twentieth century and has proven influential across disciplines.
Edited by Roberto Nigro
Translated by Roberto Nigro and Kate Briggs
This introduction and commentary to Kant’s least discussed work, Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View, is the dissertation that Michel Foucault presented in 1961 as his doctoral thesis. It has remained unpublished, in any language, until now.
In his exegesis and critical interpretation of Kant’s Anthropology, Foucault raises the question of the relation between psychology and anthropology, and how they are affected by time. Through a Kantian “critique of the anthropological slumber,” Foucault warns against the dangers of treating psychology as a new metaphysics, explores the possibilities of studying man empirically, and reflects on the nature of time, art and technique, self-perception, and language.
I would like to distinguish between the ‘history of ideas’ and the ‘history of thought.’ The history of ideas involves the analysis of a notion from its birth, through its development, and in the setting of other ideas, which constitute its context. The history of thought is the analysis of the way an unproblematic field of experience becomes a problem, raises discussions and debate, incites new reactions, and induces crisis in the previously silent behaviors, practices, and institutions. It is the history of the way people become anxious, for example, about madness, about crime, about themselves, or about truth.
This volume gathers six lectures Michel Foucault gave while teaching at Berkeley in the fall of 1983. Foucault Greek notion of parrhesia, the speech of someone who has the moral qualities required to speak the truth, even if it differs from what the majority of people believes and one faces danger for speaking it.
Currently in its fourth printing, Foucault Live is the most accessible and exhaustive introduction to Foucault’s thought to date. Composed of every extant interview made by Foucault from the mid-60s until his death in 1984, Foucault Live sheds new light on the philosopher’s ideas about friendship, the intent behind his classical studies, while clarifying many of the professional and popular misinterpretations of his ideas over the course of his career.