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Michel Foucault's The Order of Things - Book Report/Review Example

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The Order of Things was first published in French in 1966 and later translated to English and published in 1970. This was a forerunner of many of Michel Foucault's thoughts. He also could influence the thought processes of many of the philosophers and psychologists of the day…
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Michel Foucault's The Order of Things

Download file to see previous pages... This will let us look at the way the books have evolved and the influence of the one over the other is also noticed. In addition to this, the author's continuance of the thought processes with respect to one another is also taken care of.
The central issue that the book The Order of Things, is stressing about is: the acceptable idea or concept or the truth in every period in the history has been changing. The division between true and false is neither arbitrary nor modifiable nor institutional nor violent, says Foucault (p10). But then the concept of truth itself is not fixed for all times! This could be seen in the way every piece of art is viewed from period to period. There is a change in the perception of the people. This has also resulted in an ongoing and continuing change of mind of the people over a period of time. In order to establish this central piece the author has gone to great lengths in bringing together data pertaining to all the situations that could be thought of. To check his hypothesis, he introduces the concept of discourse or interactions of knowledge. The scientific discourses could bring about different episteme at different points in time. As a matter of fact, he even accepts and proposes in later to writings that there could be multiple episteme occurring the in the same period and running parallel to one another. All this could indicate how the episteme or knowledge exists on various topics and heads of information.

With the introduction of episteme and the scientific discourses, Foucault could bring about a major change in the view knowledge growth happened. An episteme that is true in a particular epoch may not be true in the next one. The changes keep happening in every one of the episteme but then more often episteme mildly changes with evolution and adopts to the social changes that happen in the implemented country or society. The scientific discourses and the evolution of the episteme changes from one epoch to the other has been in discrete steps. In order to hold this true, the author indicated the way the language and the grammar have come about or evolved in the history of mankind. Similarly, he also says that, 'the world of similarity can only be a world of signs' indicating that the world seems to have evolved into a system that is pretty similar to one another and carry specific signatures. This makes the development of various aspects all the more easy.

As a forerunner to language, the author talks about representation. 'Don Quixote reads the world in order to prove his books. And the only proofs he gives himself are the glittering reflections of the resemblances'. All this makes the way the language looks at it self in more a set of graphism rather than as a source of knowledge. According to him, the language is not the work of the mind but that of spontaneity. That is why; the languages did not have similarity across the world. There is a clear difference in the way, the language that was spoken in the east and that in the west and even between languages in the west. It is not necessary that the verb should come in the center or in the first or the second universally. They seem to be taking root in the structure by spontaneity rather than out of any careful thought or plan. However, Foucault insists on the staged development that has been ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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