Southern Journal of Philosophy 55 (S1):47-50 (2017)

Jasmine Wallace
Villanova University
Responding to the long-standing debate concerning whether Michel Foucault is a philosopher or a historian, Amy Allen questions the incompatibility that this opposition suggests. Foucault can be considered neither a historian nor a philosopher in isolation. Rather, given his own account of history and critique in his early text, The Order of Things, we should understand Foucault as a philosopher whose critical interventions are historically contingent. This commentary asks about the role of linguistics in critical theory, as it is the third counterscience listed alongside ethnology and psychoanalysis. Does a Foucault-inspired critical theory privilege the linguistic turn, even above and beyond the critical potential of either psychoanalysis or ethnology? Secondly, this commentary questions the truly critical power of Foucauldian critique in light of a defanged postcolonial theory, which is partially rooted in Foucauldian thought. Specifically, this commentary asks whether Edward Said, a postcolonial theorist explicitly influenced by Foucault, should be considered emblematic of this Foucauldian critique despite Said's complete assimilation into the status quo.
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DOI 10.1111/sjp.12227
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