ABSTRACT. This article constitutes an extended review essay of Michael Foucault’s Language, Madness and Desire: On Literature, Philippe Artièries, Jean-François Bert, Mathieu Potte-Bonneville, and Judith Revel (eds.), Robert Bononno (tr.), University of Minnesota Press, 2015, 158 pp. A shorter version of this article was published as a book review in Notre Dame Philosophical Review, March 2016, Unique Identification Number 2016.03.28. In performing this review the article seeks to illuminate Foucault’s core ontological and epistemological themes that developed in these early commentaries on literature and that were to inform the philosophical orientation of his social science investigations, including madness, psychiatry, medicine, the prison, sexuality and the care of the self. The article suggests that Foucault’s early works on literature establish a thesis of philosophical materialism which articulates many of the themes of post-quantum complexity science as they affected the social and physical sciences in the late twentieth and twenty-first centuries. pp. 80–89

Keywords: Foucault; literature; Sade; philosophical materialism; post-quantum complexity science

How to cite: Olssen, Mark (2017), “Exploring Complexity through Literature: Reframing Foucault’s Research Project with Hindsight,” Linguistic and Philosophical Investigations 16: 80–89.

Received 4 April 2016 • Received in revised form 11 April 2016
Accepted 11 April 2016 • Available online 25 April 2016


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