Genealogy as Critique

Genealogy as Critique

Foucault and the Problems of Modernity
Colin Koopman
Distribution: World
Publication date: 1/22/2013
Format: paper 368 pages
6 x 9
ISBN: 978-0-253-00621-9
Bookmark and Share

 Add to Wish List 

Other formats available:

Buy from Amazon


Viewing Foucault in the light of work by Continental and American philosophers, most notably Nietzsche, Habermas, Deleuze, Richard Rorty, Bernard Williams, and Ian Hacking, Genealogy as Critique shows that philosophical genealogy involves not only the critique of modernity but also its transformation. Colin Koopman engages genealogy as a philosophical tradition and a method for understanding the complex histories of our present social and cultural conditions. He explains how our understanding of Foucault can benefit from productive dialogue with philosophical allies to push Foucaultian genealogy a step further and elaborate a means of addressing our most intractable contemporary problems.

Author Bio

Colin Koopman is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Oregon and author of Pragmatism as Transition: Historicity and Hope in James, Dewey, and Rorty.


"Colin Koopman rethinks Foucault's work from the ground up, re-reading his relationships to Kant, Nietzsche, Deleuze and Habermas. In so doing, he opens up fruitful new avenues for connecting Foucaultian genealogical critique to pragmatism and Habermasian critical theory. It is a must read for anyone interested in the relationship between Foucault and critical theory." —Amy R. Allen, Dartmouth College

Genealogy as Critique breathes fresh air into a number of stale scholarly debates about the periodization of Foucault's work, the viability of genealogy as a method, and the relationship between Foucault and his interlocutors. It is a must read for anyone interested in Foucault and especially in the relationship between Foucault and critical theory." —Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

"This impressive book by Koopman . . . exposes what he perceives to be inaccurate readings of Foucault's work stemming from Habermas, Derrida, and other 'Weberian' interpretations. . . . Recommended." —Choice

"Overall, Genealogy as Critique makes a significant contribution to Foucaultian scholarship specifically and to the field of critical social theory in general. Koopman’s book should be of equal interest to those doing work on any number of issues in Foucault as well as in genealogy, as he not only resolves a number of interpretive issues, but also provides a new and most useful interpretive perspective through which to approach the Foucaultian oeuvre. More importantly, it is refreshing to read a book attempting to strike out a bold new direction for critical social theory rather than remaining mired in old debates." —Foucault Studies

Customer Reviews

There are currently no reviews
Write a review on this title.

Table of Contents

Introduction: What Genealogy Does
1. Critical Historiography: Politics, Philosophy & Problematization
2. Three Uses of Genealogy: Subversion, Vindication & Problematization
3. What Problematization Is: Contingency, Complexity & Critique
4. What Problematization Does: Aims, Sources & Implications
5. Foucault's Problematization of Modernity: The Reciprocal Incompatibility of Discipline and Liberation
6. Foucault's Reconstruction of Modern Moralities: An Ethics of Self-Transformation
7. Problematization plus Reconstruction: Genealogy, Pragmatism & Critical Theory
Related Titles