Michel Foucault

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Tom Fecht: Kaltes Quadrat (cold square) – Bonn – Installation in the entrance of the Federal art and exhibition hall in Bonn – paving stone in memory of Michel Foucault

Michel Foucault (miʃɛl fuko), born Paul-Michel Foucault (15 October 1926 – 25 June 1984), was a French philosopher, social theorist and historian of ideas. He held a chair at the prestigious Collège de France with the title "History of Systems of Thought," and also taught at the University at Buffalo and the University of California, Berkeley.

Foucault is best known for his critical studies of social institutions, most notably psychiatry, medicine, the human sciences, and the prison system, as well as for his work on the history of human sexuality. His writings on power, knowledge, and discourse have been widely influential in academic circles. In the 1960s Foucault was associated with structuralism, a movement from which he distanced himself. Foucault also rejected the poststructuralist and postmodernist labels later attributed to him, preferring to classify his thought as a critical history of modernity rooted in Kant. Foucault's project was particularly influenced by Nietzsche, his "genealogy of knowledge" a direct allusion to Nietzsche's "genealogy of morality". In a late interview he definitively stated: "I am a Nietzschean."[1]

Foucault was listed as the most cited scholar in the humanities in 2007 by the ISI Web of Science.[2]

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  1. Nik Farrell Fox, The New Sartre: Explorations in Postmodernism, Continuum, via Google Books, pg 169.
  2. "The most cited authors of books in the humanities". timeshighereducation.co.uk. 2009-03-26. Retrieved 2009-11-16.