Dan's Reviews > The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences

The Order of Things by Michel Foucault
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Jun 17, 08

bookshelves: philosophy
Read in August, 1995

Foucault is hard to categorize. Some see him as a post-structuralist, others argue that he is a new historicist. I think he sees himself as a descendant of Friedrich Nietzsche.

The first part of this book is great simply on the level of entertainment. Foucault's analysis of Velazquez's Las Meninas stands out as an essay that can be read on its own. I also enjoyed Foucault's discussion of Don Quixote.

The latter part of the book is much more of a historical study. Foucault has an interesting theory about the changes in the dominant epistemes--the ways we organize knowledge--and he employs an analysis of Enlightenment texts to substantiate his argument.
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