Michel Foucault and the Freedom of Thought. Thinking Otherwise between Knowledge, Power and Self

Author: Robinson, Keith
This volume offers a map of the underlying movements of Foucault’s thought. Detailed and comprehensive, it demonstrates that Foucault is a philosopher of complex spaces, territories and architectures of thought across the range of his work, and includes analyses of lesser known texts (Magritte, Pierre Riviere, Brisset) that are hardly mentioned in the secondary literature. It also presents new and original readings of his major texts that will interest a wide audience. The primary sense, direction, and force of Foucault’s thought is shown to reside in the connections established between a new conception of space-time and freedom, an open system of relations that shows how he thinks the ‘present’ differently, designating this effort the ‘thought from Outside’. This is the freedom of thought in Foucault – a potentially dangerous or joyful yet necessarily endless effort to connect and reconnect with the Outside that is uniquely Foucauldian.


“In Keith Robinson’s reading it is clear that Foucault’s work still contains many surprises, and still has the power to stimulate, provoke, shock. This book is well-written. It educates, entertains, seduces the reader, through an examination of a body of work which Robinson shows has lost none of its force. . . . It is a book which nowhere duplicates other published texts. . . even those who have worked with Foucauldian ideas and material for some time will find their engagement challenged and stimulated in a new way. . . . shows that in the encounter with Deleuze certain of Foucault’s famous writings have unexpected aspects. A fresh approach, an attractive style of investigation, this study would be widely read and would have considerable impact.” – Mike Gane

“Robinson leads the reader on a tour of the major works, with special focus on Madness and Civilization; Order of Things, Archaeology of Knowledge, Discipline and Punish, and History of Sexuality. References to and focused readings of other works and to major secondary sources complement this series of major readings. The book concludes with a moving evocation of Foucault’s philosophy as the attempt at a thought of ‘life’.” – John Protevi

Table of Contents

Table of contents (main headings)
Preface by Keith Ansell Pearson
Introduction: Knowledge; Power; Self
1. Literature, Madness and the Space of Transgressive Thought: From Writing to Cartography
2. The Exterior Limits of Knowledge: Statements and Visibilities
3. Thought of the Outside: There Are Events of Thought
4. The Space-Time of Power: Diagrammatic Thought
5. The Interiorities of Thought: Selves and Subjectivation
6. Conclusion: Thinking-Otherwise; Freedom between life and thought
Bibliography; Index