Foucault's Critical Philosophy of History: Unfolding the Present provides a comprehensive interpretation of Foucault’s work by focusing on its methodological, procedural, and epistemological elements. Adam Takács argues that despite all its thematic and analytical diversity, Foucault’s procedure can be understood within a unified framework based on the historical problematization of the present. This procedure, triggered by current social issues and aiming at a diagnostic screening of the present through a constructive exploration of the past, thus sets in motion not only a specific philosophical vision of history and a research practice often related to the procedures of historiography, but also new ways of critical analysis of social phenomena. This book subjects all these elements to a systematic analysis, demonstrating that within this framework, Foucault’s often debated views on historical realism and constructivism—his methodological choices and ontological commitments—take on a coherent profile, culminating in a timely social critical project of “liberation of knowledge” and “political subjectivation.”
Adam Takács is senior lecturer at Eötvös Loránd University.
Introduction: Doing Critical Philosophy in the Field of History
Chapter 1: The Project of the ‘History of the Present’
Chapter 2: The Formation of the Past
Chapter 3: Foucault’s Constructive History
Chapter 4: The Mapping of Being: Foucault’s Historical Ontology
Chapter 5: History as Critical Philosophy