Special Issue: Words, Things, and Beyond: Foucault’s Les mots et les choses at 50

“The fact remains that Les mots et les choses merits our continued admiration and attention, and it especially calls for reconsideration today, after a half century of interpretation. Fifty years is a long time, and for many books it would mark the shelf life of relevance, beyond which they would fall out of the canon and out of memory. For a great many of us, however, Les mots et les choses remains a provocative and paradigmatic work. At its core it offers startling insight into what we might call the historicity of the transcendental. In all of its scrupulous if occasionally bewildering detail, it radicalizes the nominalist lesson that lurked in Kant’s dictum: intuitions without concepts are blind. But it deepens and temporalizes this nominalism, to such a degree that even our concepts lose the allure of permanence, and we are enjoined to contemplate the instability of knowledge, the making and the unmaking of epistemic categories, and the heteronomy of the present with respect to the past.” – Peter Gordon

Table of Contents: History & Theory Volume 55, Issue 4, December 2016 

  1. INTRODUCTORY REMARKS: FOUCAULT’S LES MOTS ET LES CHOSES AT 50 (pages 3–6) PETER E. GORDON
  2. PHENOMENOLOGY AND ANTHROPOLOGY IN FOUCAULT’S “INTRODUCTION TO BINSWANGER’S DREAM AND EXISTENCE“: A MIRROR IMAGE OF THE ORDER OF THINGS? (pages 7–22) – BÉATRICE HAN-PILE
  3. VANISHING POINT: LES MOTS ET LES CHOSES, HISTORY, AND DIAGNOSIS (pages 23–34) – JEAN-CLAUDE MONOD
  4. FOUCAULT’S ICONIC AFTERLIFE: THE POSTHUMOUS REACH OF WORDS AND THINGS (pages 35–53) – NANCY PARTNER
  5. THE POLITICS OF THE ORDER OF THINGS: FOUCAULT, SARTRE, AND DELEUZE (pages 54–65) – GARY GUTTING
  6. THE ORDER OF THINGS: AN ARCHAEOLOGY OF WHAT? (pages 66–81) – VINCENT DESCOMBES
  7. UNEXPECTED AND VITAL CONTROVERSIES: FOUCAULT’S LES MOTS ET LES CHOSES IN ITS PHILOSOPHICAL MOMENT AND IN OURS (pages 82–92) – FRÉDÉRIC WORMS
  8. NATURE AND THE IRRUPTIVE VIOLENCE OF HISTORY (pages 93–111) – JULIAN BOURG
  9. MONSTERS AND PATIENTS: AN ARCHAEOLOGY OF MEDICINE, ISLAM, AND MODERNITY (pages 112–130) – AHMED RAGAB
  10. OUT OF THEIR DEPTHS: “MORAL KINDS” AND THE INTERPRETATION OF EVIDENCE IN FOUCAULT’S MODERN EPISTEME (pages 131–147) – LAURA STARK
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