Reading Foucault

There is a really interesting extract from the introduction to Thomas Lemke’s Foucault’s Analysis of Modern Governmentality: A Critique of Political Reason on the Verso publisher’s blog concerning the difficulties of reading and interpreting Foucault, and the very varied responses to his work. Lemke suggests that perhaps the most useful approach is not to resolve the difficulties of Foucault’s work and to find the one true interpretation in the face of so many critical misinterpretations, but to recognise that Foucault’s work generates problems for its readers and that this is precisely its value.

2 thoughts on “Reading Foucault

  1. Sounds like reading religious texts! But I suppose, when reading anything written to illicit thought, especially such a vast array from one author, this is the only reasonable approach. Also different stages of a person’s life yield different ideas, or more nuanced ideas. So the only way to really get a good understanding is to read it all.


    1. Clare O'Farrell

      The whole enterprise of secular literary criticism and critique arguably owes much to hermeneutics, the reading of religious texts. Foucault’s work does pose particular problems…


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