Foucault’s Epistemology

| April 21, 2012

Foucault, Intro to Canguilhem’s Normal and Pathological:

In the end, both [the French epistemologists and the Frankfurt School critical theorists] pose the same kinds of questions […] which must be addressed to a rationality which makes universal claims while developing in contingency; which asserts its unity but proceeds only by means of partial modification when not by general recastings; which authenticates itself through its own sovereignty but which in its history is perhaps not disassociated from inertias, weights which coerce it, subjugate it.  In the history of science in France as in German critical theory, what we are to examine essentially is a reason whose autonomy of structures carries with itself the history of dogmatisms and despotisms -a reason which, consequently, has the effect of emancipation only on the condition that it succeeds in freeing itself from itself.  (p.xii)