From: John Ransom <ransom@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 22 Sep 1997 16:01:35 -0400 (EDT)
On Mon, 22 Sep 1997 pfl661@xxxxxxxxxxx wrote:
> I have been a lurker on this list for about a month. I would like to ask
> for some information from the list members.
> I have the opportunity to take a class this semester on a single
> theorist (sociology). I would like to spend the semester reading
> What secondary sources would you read if you were starting out? I'm
> looking for something that "frames" Foucault's work. I have a copy of
> Cultural Analysis by Wuthnow. Any suggestions would be greatly
> Phyllis Flott
> University of North Texas
It depends what period of F's work you want to focus on. An absolutely
fantastic book on Foucault's "middle period" (_Order of Things_,
_Archaeology of Knowledge_) is Gary Gutting's _Michel Foucault's
Archaeology of Scientific Reason_.
For the 70s and 80s, you can't go wrong with James Bernauer's _Michel
Foucault's Force of Flight_. Modesty prevents me from mentioning my book
If you're interested in the broader framing, perhaps something you're
looking for is one of the biographies on him. Didier Eribon's _Michel
Foucault_ provides a good account of F's life and career, though the
biography format keeps him from going deep theoretically.
A more critical kind of framing is provided by Luc Ferry and Alain Renaut
in _French Philosophy of the Sixties_. They see Foucault and all other
French (intellectual) diseases as so much politically irresponsible,
Some of the best work that criticizes Foucault is still some of the
oldest: see the articles by Walzer, Taylor, and Habermas in _Foucault: A
Critical Reader_, ed. David Couzens Hoy.
A short book by a respected thinker who surveys all of Foucault's periods
is _Foucault: An Introduction_ by Hinrich Fink-Eitel.