THE ORDER OF THINGS Essay Example

Episteme

The word episteme, which Foucault utilizes in his book The Order of Things, means the systemic unconscious structures which underlie the generation of scientific knowledge in a specific place and time. It is the accepted mode of attaining and arranging knowledge in a particular time. An episteme joins the numerous discourses whether scientific or legal and guarantees their consistency within fundamental structures of inherent presumptions about the condition of knowledge. It’s the epistemological field which creates the situations of probability for knowledge in a given place and time(Foucault, 1969).

An episteme might be a characteristic system, cultural code, ground or network of thought that directs the perceptions, language, practices and values of an age. From his work, The Order of Things Foucault tried to display the way an episteme based upon the detection of resemblances was reinstated in the seventh century by a novel episteme of distinctions and differences, whereas the nineteenth century introduced an additional episteme of historical evolution. Foucault’s episteme is not simply confined to science but to a broader variety of discourses.

Foucault argument is that knowledge is generated via discourse but the discourse that becomes history is a discourse of the dominant. People should view discourse as a way of regulating the social institutions and practices within a society. Therefore, based on episteme, Foucault asserts that history must not be observed as a constant line of knowledge, but we are also supposed to look deeper into daily documents so as to seethe way discourse ruptures and when and where it changes(Foucault, 1969).

Heterotopia

Heterotopias is a phrase coined by Foucault to imply a space which is outside daily institutional and social space, for instance cemeteries, motels and trains. It is a human geography concept that Foucault uses to describe spaces and places that work in non- hegemonic situations. This implies that these spaces are of otherness, and that are simultaneously mental and physical like the space of a phone call or the moment when someone sees himself in the mirror. Foucault utilizes the word heterotopias to depict spaces that possess many layers of relationships or meanings to other places, rather than instantly meet the eye. Generally, heterotopias is the physical approximation or representation of a utopia such as the city of Brasilia or a parallel space that has detrimental bodies to cerate an actual utopian space possible, such as a prison( Foucault, 1967).

Classification

Foucault uses the term classification to refer to grouping of people, animals or things. Classifications are a core portion of our livings and establish a moral or social order of which highly unconscious. From the preface of Foucault’s the order of things, the Borges passage quote a particular encyclopedia whereby it is written that animals are groups into belonging to the emperor, tame, sirens, sucking pigs, stray dogs, or embalmed( Foucault, 2002).

Foucault, (2002), notes that whilst majority of people would consider classification of animals as ludicrous, Foucault sees it as a chance to identify the limitations of our individual classificatory scheme through which we won’t think of this option. While majority of people simply assume that their individual presently recognized classification system displays an objective actuality, there are actually are several optional classification schemes. Foucault sees a certain classification system as a real cultural code of interpretation, and terms it as a discursive formation meaning a set of profound rules for ordering which is embedded in our language.

References

Foucault, M., (1967). Of Other Spaces, Heterotopias, New York. Psychology Press,

Foucault, M., (2002). The Order of Things: An Archeology of the Human Sciences. New York: Routledge.

Foucault, M, 1969, The Archaelogy of Knowledge. Paris: Gallimard.