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Sartre, Foucault, and Historical ReasonA Poststructuralist Mapping of History$
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Thomas R. Flynn

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780226254708

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226254722.001.0001

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The Philosopher-Historian as Cartographer

The Philosopher-Historian as Cartographer

(p.126) Chapter Six The Philosopher-Historian as Cartographer
Sartre, Foucault, and Historical Reason
University of Chicago Press

Foucault is a spatializing thinker. This chapter considers Foucault's spatialized reasoning as a method of historical understanding and as a strategy in his ongoing struggle against traditional intellectual history, and finally as a self-referential tool, sketching an initial turn of the compass and sextant on his own work the better to understand the “spaces” charted by his life-long project. The chapter analyzes the relation between the various epistemes that Foucault uncovers in Western thought since the Renaissance, arguing that an aesthetic relation of “fittingness” obtains among them that offer a kind of unity and intelligibility to archaeological history while respecting the empirical and aleatory nature of the discontinuities that fragment such an historical account.

Keywords:   philosophers, historians, cartographers, Foucault, spatialized reasoning

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