Foucault and Derrida: The Other Side of Reason

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The writings of Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida pose a serious challenge to the old established, but now seriously compromised forms of thought. In this compelling book, Roy Boyne explains the very significant advances for which they have been responsible, their general importance for the human sciences, and the forms of hope that they offer for an age often characterized by scepticism, cynicism and reaction. The focus of the book is the dispute between Foucault and Derrida on the nature of reason, madness and 'otherness'. The range of issues covered includes the birth of the prison, problems of textual interpretation, the nature of the self and contemporary movements such as socialism, feminism and anti-racialism. Roy Boyne argues that whilst the two thinkers chose very different paths, they were in fact rather surprisingly to converge upon the common ground of power and ethics. Despite the evident honesty, importance and adventurousness of the work of Foucault and Derrida, many also find it difficult and opaque. Roy Boyne has performed a major service for students of their writings in this compelling and accessible book.