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Genealogy as Critique

Foucault and the Problems of Modernity

Colin Koopman

Publication Year: 2013

Viewing Foucault in the light of work by Continental and American philosophers, most notably Nietzsche, Habermas, Deleuze, Richard Rorty, Bernard Williams, and Ian Hacking, Genealogy as Critique shows that philosophical genealogy involves not only the critique of modernity but also its transformation. Colin Koopman engages genealogy as a philosophical tradition and a method for understanding the complex histories of our present social and cultural conditions. He explains how our understanding of Foucault can benefit from productive dialogue with philosophical allies to push Foucaultian genealogy a step further and elaborate a means of addressing our most intractable contemporary problems.

Published by: Indiana University Press

Series: American Philosophy


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pp. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. 2-7


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pp. 8-9

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pp. ix-xiv

Viewed in one way, persons are bundles of debts and credits—who we are is a function of a complex assemblage of affordances offered to us by those who hold us in their various...

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Introduction: What Genealogy Does

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pp. 1-23

Genealogies articulate problems. But not just any problems. Genealogies do not, for instance, take up those problems that come with supposed solutions readily apparent, or those problems...

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1. Critical Historiography: Politics, Philosophy & Problematization

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pp. 24-57

Genealogy articulates, or makes sayable and visible, that is conceptually available, the problematizations of our present. Genealogy thus involves the articulation of that which comprises...

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2. Three Uses of Genealogy: Subversion, Vindication & Problematization

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pp. 58-86

I have been describing genealogy as something of a philosophical tradition. But if genealogy is indeed a tradition, it is not clear that it is in the same way that, say, phenomenology, or critical...

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3. What Problematization Is: Contingency, Complexity & Critique

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pp. 87-128

Genealogy in the forms of both Nietzsche’s subversion and Williams’s vindication is susceptible to the charge that it commits the genetic fallacy. Though Nietzsche and Williams use genealogy...

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4. What Problematization Does: Aims, Sources & Implications

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pp. 129-153

What should a genealogy aim to accomplish? There is a standard answer to this question that circulates almost silently throughout contemporary theory: genealogy denaturalizes, destabilizes...

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5. Foucault’s Problematization of Modernity: The Reciprocal Incompatibility of Discipline and Liberation

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pp. 154-181

Michel Foucault’s works were transmitted from France to America through the filter of that American invention of “theory” that came to dominate much of the American intellectual scene...

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6. Foucault’s Reconstruction of Modern Moralities: An Ethics of Self-Transformation

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pp. 182-216

In the later years of his foreshortened life, Foucault began to elaborate a conception of ethics that might have functioned as a serious alternative to the behemoth moral systems that have...

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7. Problematization plus Reconstruction: Genealogy, Pragmatism & Critical Theory

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pp. 217-270

Throughout this book I have been working toward a conception of critical inquiry that brings together the methodological orientations of problematization and reconstruction. It is time...


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pp. 271-310


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pp. 311-340


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pp. 341-348

About the Author

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pp. 349-349

E-ISBN-13: 9780253006233
E-ISBN-10: 0253006236
Print-ISBN-13: 9780253006196

Page Count: 368
Publication Year: 2013

Series Title: American Philosophy
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OCLC Number: 826858870
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Genealogy as Critique

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Subject Headings

  • Foucault, Michel, 1926-1984.
  • Genealogy (Philosophy).
  • Visker, Rudi, 1959- Genealogie als kritiek.
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