A unique testimony by a scholar who knew Foucault well, this book succeeds brilliantly in grasping the core of his thought and in stripping away the confusions and misunderstandings that have so often characterized the interpretation of Foucault and his work.
1 In Universal History, Everything is Singular: ‘Discourse’ 5
2 There is No ‘a priori’ that is Not Historical 22
3 Foucault’s Scepticism 37
4 Archaeology 54
5 Universalism, Universals, Epigenesis: The Beginnings of Christianity 59
6 Notwithstanding Heidegger, Man is an Intelligent Animal 66
7 The Physical and Human Sciences: Foucault’s Programme 77
8 A Sociological History of Truths: Knowledge, Power, the Set–up 92
9 Was Foucault a Corrupter of the Young? Was He the Despair of the Workers’ Movement? 111
10 Foucault and Politics 125
11 Portrait of a Samurai 135
"Foucault is well– known as one of the most influential thinkers of the twentieth century. Writing from his profound knowledge of the man, Paul Veyne here vividly brings out his character and personality."
Geoffrey Lloyd, University of Cambridge
"It is fascinating to follow Paul Veyne’s engagement with Foucault: he was extremely close to Foucault, as the celebrated history of sexuality developed as a project, and this essay, which mixes reminiscences with argument and reflection, captures a real flavour of the intellectual excitement of those times."
Simon Goldhill, University of Cambridge