60 pages 2 hours read

Michel Foucault

The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences

Nonfiction | Book | Adult | Published in 1966

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Essay Topics


Why do you think Foucault begins with 16th-century ideas about language to structure his archaeology of knowledge? Do you think his exploration is weakened by not exploring economics and labor in the 16th century as well?


When Foucault says that man did not exist before the 19th century, what does he mean? How is the 19th-century human incompatible with the Classical Age human? Do you agree with his assessment? Why or why not?


If you could rearrange the chapters and subchapters of The Order of Things, how would you arrange them? Why? How would this affect a reader’s ability to understand Foucault’s thoughts?