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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 Spaces of History

The Spaces of History

(p.99) Chapter Five The Spaces of History
Sartre, Foucault, and Historical Reason
University of Chicago Press

This chapter examines Foucault's first major work, The History of Madness, in light of spatialized reasoning. The concept of spatialized reasoning is elaborated in the chapter with an extended discussion of two terms ingredient in Foucault's archaeological method: “transformation” and “displacement.” These terms receive thorough treatment because of their spatial character and especially because of their pivotal function in advancing Foucault's arguments. If Foucault's peculiar approach to history assumes a comparative, diachronic vision and reasons with the help of spatial techniques that, while scarcely ignoring the temporal, shatter it into numerous “viscosities,” one would hardly be amazed were he to second Paul Veyne's suggestion that comparative history has more in common with comparative geography than with what Foucault calls “the thin line” of narrative.

Keywords:   Foucault, philosophical vision, comparative history, spatialized reasoning, narratives

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