That darn Foucault

Stuart Elden has resurfaced a wonderful 1981 TIME article on the “exasperating and elusive” Michel Foucault.

There are plenty of barbs here from contemporaries such as Clifford Geertz, Richard Rorty, and Edward Said. And Foucault offers a gem, summing up the continental tradition this way:

“Among the reasons it is truly difficult to have a dialogue with the Americans and English is that for them the critical question for the philosopher is, ‘Is it true?’ whereas the German-French tradition consists basically of posing the question, ‘Why do we think as we do? What effect does it have?’ I consider the problems that I pose to be those of modern man.”