Departmental Research Seminar, 4th May 2016

This event is organized by the History of Philosophy Research Group. The seminar will be held at the Open University’s campus at Walton Hall, in Perry C, Meeting Room 04, from 2pm – 4pm. Contact: Cristina Chimisso.

Professor David Webb (University of Staffordshire)

‘Archaeology and Ethics in the Work of Michel Foucault’

Abstract: Foucault’s work is sometimes divided into periods; for example, designated archaeology, genealogy, ethics. I will argue that this is a mistaken approach that fails to appreciate the extent to which the modes of analysis he develops in his earlier work open the space for his later interest in ethics and the care of the self. In particular, Foucault’s archaeological method not only responds to challenges he identified at the end of The Order of Things, but also sets the conditions for the separation of knowledge and truth that he goes on to explore from the early 1970s. In this paper, I will show how archaeology is linked to the separation of knowledge and truth, and how this in turn leads to Foucault’s distinctive approach to ethics in his later work.