Understanding Poststructuralism
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Series: Understanding Movements in Modern Thought
Author(s): James Williams  
ISBN: 1844650332
ISBN-13: 9781844650330
Publication Date: 30/10/2005
Pages: 192 (216 x 138mm)
Format: Paperback
Published Price: £16.99
Discount Price: £13.59
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Understanding Poststructuralism is a lucid guide to some of the most exciting and controversial ideas in contemporary thought. Structured around the key works of the movement's most important theorists, Foucault, Derrida, Kristeva, Lyotard and Deleuze, each chapter examines a central text, providing detailed summaries of the main points and a critical analysis of the core arguments. Difficult ideas are clearly explained both in terms of their value to critical thinking and to contemporary issues. Poststructuralism's challenging methodology – deconstruction, libidinal economics, genealogy and transcendental empiricism – is illuminated by being examined in context. Although a sympathetic interpreter of poststructuralism, Williams is not dismissive of the criticism of analytic philosophers and he is able to provide a much needed balanced assessment of this philosophy. The book offers an ideal introduction for students encountering poststructuralist ideas in philosophy, social and political theory, cultural studies, gender studies and in literary and art criticism.


"Williams has produced one of the most thoughtful and lucid accounts of poststructuralism available in English. Understanding Poststructuralism is both an indispensable introduction to one of the most influential philosophical movements of recent decades, and a significant critical and intellectual achievement in its own right." – French Studies

"An imaginative and bold account of one of the most influential intellectual movements of the late twentieth century. It seeks to rebut widespread misconceptions and respond to legitimate objections to poststructuralist positions, all in remarkably jargon-free prose. It will be a valuable resource for students throughout the humanities and social sciences." – Paul Patton, University of New South Wales

"With this book, Williams establishes himself as one of the foremost English-language interpreters of French thought. It not only provides accessible analyses of key figures but also presents a judicious evaluation of the poststructuralist movement as a whole." – Daniel W. Smith, Purdue University

James Williams is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Dundee.

1. Introduction: what is poststructuralism?
2. Poststructuralism as deconstruction: Jacques Derrida's Of Grammatology
3. Poststructuralism as philosophy of difference: Gilles Deleuze's Difference and Repetition
4. Poststructuralism as philosophy of the event: Lyotard's Discours, figure
5. Poststructuralism, history, genealogy: Michel Foucault's The Archaeology of Knowledge
6. Poststructuralism, psychoanalysis, linguistics: Julia Kristeva's Revolution in Poetic Language
7. Poststructuralism into the future
Questions for discussion and revision
Further reading
Publications timeline

Also available in Hardback (1844650324), priced 50.00

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