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Gary Gutting's Top Book Recommendations

Want to know what books Gary Gutting recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of Gary Gutting's favorite book recommendations of all time.


The Cambridge Foucault Lexicon

The Cambridge Foucault Lexicon is a reference tool that provides clear and incisive definitions and descriptions of all of Foucault's major terms and influences, including history, knowledge, language, philosophy, and power. It also includes entries on philosophers about whom Foucault wrote and who influenced Foucault's thinking, such as Deleuze, Heidegger, Nietzsche, and Canguilhem. The entries are written by scholars of Foucault from a variety of disciplines such as philosophy, gender studies, political science, and history. Together, they shed light on concepts key to Foucault and to... more
Recommended by Gary Gutting, and 1 others.

Gary GuttingI count about 72 different authors, including most of the leading Foucault scholars of the day. (Source)

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Sexual identities are dangerous, Michel Foucault tells us. Categories of desire harden into stereotypes by which the forces of normalization hold us and judge us. In Bodies and Pleasures, Ladelle McWhorter reads Foucault from an original and personal angle, motivated by the differences this experience has made in her life. At the same time, her analysis advances discussion of key issues in Foucault scholarship: the genealogical critique, the status of the subject and humanism, essentialism versus social construction, and the relationships between identity, community, and political action.... more
Recommended by Gary Gutting, and 1 others.

Gary GuttingMost distinctive for the way she combines discussions of Foucault with her own experiences as a gay woman. (Source)

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Michel Foucault's historical and philosophical investigations have gone through many phases: the archaeological, the genealogical, and the ethical among them. What remains constant, however, is the question that motivates them: "who are we?" Todd May follows Foucault's itinerary from his early history of madness to his posthumously published Collège de France lectures and shows how the question of who we are shifts and changes but remains constantly at or just below the surface of his writings. By approaching Foucault's work in this way, May is able to offer readers an engaging and... more
Recommended by Gary Gutting, and 1 others.

Gary GuttingMay sees Foucault as first of all a philosopher, although one whose project requires the skills of an historian. (Source)

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How To Read Foucault

Michel Foucault was a twentieth century philosopher of extraordinary talent, a political activist, social theorist, cultural critic and creative historian. He irreversibly shaped the ways we think today about such controversial issues as power, sexuality, madness and criminality. Johanna Oksala explores the conceptual tools that Foucault gave us for constructing new forms of thinking as well as for smashing old certainties. She offers a lucid account of him as a thinker whose persistent aim was to challenge the self-evidence and necessity of our current experiences, practices and institutions... more
Recommended by Gary Gutting, and 1 others.

Gary GuttingOksala is one of the most informed, balanced, and perceptive Foucault scholars, and writes clearly without over-simplifying. (Source)

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The Lives of Michel Foucault

When he died of an AIDS-related condition in 1984, Michel Foucault had become the most influential French philosopher since the end of World War II. His powerful studies of the creation of modern medicine, prisons, psychiatry, and other methods of classification have had a lasting impact on philosophers, historians, critics, and novelists the world over. But as public as he was in his militant campaigns on behalf of prisoners, dissidents, and homosexuals, he shrouded his personal life in mystery.

In The Lives of Michel Foucault — written with the full cooperation of Daniel...
Recommended by Richard Wolin, Gary Gutting, and 2 others.

Richard WolinYes, I placed this on my list because when Macey published this book in the early 1990s there were a lot of competing biographies on Foucault by people like James Miller and Didier Eribon in France. Foucault led a bold life in many regards, which one can’t say of all philosophers and thinkers. They are often much more monastically inclined. And the other biographies are very good but I think... (Source)

Gary GuttingMacey cites a much deeper issue: Foucault had a horror of any fixed identity. (Source)

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