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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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Conclusion: The Map and the Diary

Conclusion: The Map and the Diary

(p.307) Conclusion: The Map and the Diary
Sartre, Foucault, and Historical Reason
University of Chicago Press

Neither Foucault nor Sartre could be called “historians” in the usual sense of the word. The project in this book has been to describe how each assumes a second-level perspective on standard history. In that sense, each is a “philosopher” of history or better, since that expression had come to denote advocates of history in the grand style, a philosophical historian. The book proposed the respective models of the diary and the map to characterize the interpretive schemes adopted by Sartre and Foucault respectively to “make” sense of history. Foucault once referred to himself as a kind of cartographer, and Sartre devoted thousands of pages to “existential biographies” throughout his career. But the contrast plays out on a larger field than that of the theory of history. It extends to the respective camps of what have come to be called the modern and the postmodern domains, for which Sartre and Foucault are often taken to be the poster figures.

Keywords:   Foucault, Sartre, history, philosophers, philosophical historians, existentialism

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