Education: France's Philosopher of Power

Elusive and exasperating, Michel Foucault has a growing cult

Watching French Marxists grapple with the radical theories of Michel Foucault, says the philosopher's Translator Alan Sheridan, is like watching "a policeman attempting to arrest a particularly outrageous drag queen." The solemn specialists who patrol the American university have their own difficulties with Foucault. Leo Bersani of the French department at Berkeley eulogizes him as "our most brilliant philosopher of power," but Yale Historian Peter Gay dismisses him: "He doesn't do any research, he just goes on instinct." Anthropologist Clifford Geertz of the Princeton...

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