Re-considering the limits and conditions of possibility of Foucault's understanding of the subject

George, Ema-Louise (2010). Re-considering the limits and conditions of possibility of Foucault's understanding of the subject. University of Birmingham. M.Phil.


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This dissertation uses Foucault’s archaeological text The Order of Things (2002) to explicate two propositions. First, Foucault questioned the limits and conditions of possibilities for knowledge about our existence. Second, Foucault presupposed a subject whose capacity to know is constitutive of these limits and conditions of possibility. Evidencing these propositions I will explicate how, through his critique of these possibilities for knowledge, Foucault presupposes a self-constituting subject. This will be undertaken by developing but also modifying the possibilities for understanding Foucault's work delineated by Amy Allen’s articles, The Anti-Subjective Hypothesis: Michel Foucault and The Death of the Subject (2000) and Foucault and Enlightenment: A Critical Reappraisal (2003). This will show, first, that it is necessary to contrast Allen’s focus on Foucault's critique of transcendentalism by including his critique of positivism. Second, the relation between Foucault's presuppositions about the way in which we constitute the limits and conditions of possibility for modern knowledge. Last, the way in which the perquisite of effective theory limits the meaning of Foucault's.

Type of Work: Thesis (Masters by Research > M.Phil.)
Award Type: Masters by Research > M.Phil.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of Languages, Cultures, Art History and Music
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology


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