Poststructuralism, history, genealogy: Michel Foucault’s The Archaeology of Knowledge
Michel Foucaults poststructuralism is developed through a series of historical studies. His work is remarkable in seeking to change the way history is written, while resisting a straightforward move to structuralist methods. Mid-career, Foucault reflected on his new philosophy of history in relation to structuralism in the influential book The Archaeology of Knowledge. The book is to understanding Foucault's relation to structuralism, a relation that includes common themes as well as divergences in terms of methods and philosophical presuppositions. Foucault ends the first part of The Archaeology of Knowledge with a mock dialogue, rather than a straight statement, to allow him to give a simple position, but also to set that view in a broader and more complicated train of thought. In terms of history, the most important distinction introduced by Foucault in The Archaeology of Knowledge is the difference drawn between histories of continuity and of discontinuity.,.