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

The Order of Things by Michel Foucault
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's review
Jul 27, 2011

bookshelves: french, sociology, criticism, history, philosophy, post-modern

I'm finished in the sense that I know I'm not going to pick it up and continue again any time soon. I made it to page 273, but I have found it a bit too boring and difficult to find the discipline to continue.

What Foucault has to say is fairly interesting, but after getting the gist of the idea from the introduction, and (to be honest) a synopsis of the contents I don't think there's much to be gained from actually reading the book. I understand the idea of paradigm shift's in our body of knowledge and I believe they happen and that culture affects everything, including supposedly objective practices such as science. However, Foucault's attempt to demonstrate this is narrow, unconvicing, full of unquestioned assumptions that what has taken place in Western Europe can be said to demonstrate universal principles, and written in an extremely boring fashion, which I wasn't expecting. Nietsche railed against German thinkers for writing such a dull, heavy, ugly prose and envied the French for their light, witty writing tradition. Unfortunately the French seem to have bought into the idea of Germanic profundity in their writing style these days.
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