Michel Foucault and the contradictions of modern thought.
Sass, Louis A.
Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology, Vol 28 (2), 2008, 323-335.
The present paper offers a sympathetic yet critical examination of Michel Foucault's (1994) discussion (in the final chapters of his book, The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences ) of the contradictions inherent in the self-consciousness of the modern or post-Kantian mind. Foucault's account of the “empirico-transcendental doublet” of modern thought is shown to provide a useful mapping of humanist, anti-humanist, and postmodern responses to the reflexivity of the modern “ episteme ”. Foucault is criticized for his insufficiently critical treatment of structuralism (an anti-humanist approach). Foucault is also defended against the charge that he undermines his own position through a form of performative self-contradiction.