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date: 24 September 2021

p. 546. The masked philosopherlocked

p. 546. The masked philosopherlocked

  • Gary Gutting


Foucault sometimes admitted and sometimes denied that he was a philosopher. ‘The masked philosopher’ asks what a philosopher is and ponders whether Foucault really was a philosopher. Is philosophy an academic, perhaps technical and specialist, subject? Did Foucault's work contribute to the modern (Kantian) philosophical project? Foucault's interest in philosophy comes from his interest in how contemporary philosophy fits into the general scheme of history. Philosophy should be focused not on perennial questions but on the question of what is distinctive about our current situation. To Foucault, the difficulty is in understanding how a single, unified being can be the transcendental source of all possible knowledge at the same time as being the object of knowledge.

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