13. Making History

  1. Christopher Falzon1,
  2. Timothy O'Leary2 and
  3. Jana Sawicki3
  1. Christopher Falzon

Published Online: 5 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118324905.ch13

A Companion to Foucault

A Companion to Foucault

How to Cite

Falzon, C. (2013) Making History, in A Companion to Foucault (eds C. Falzon, T. O'Leary and J. Sawicki), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118324905.ch13

Editor Information

  1. 1

    University of Newcastle, Australia

  2. 2

    University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

  3. 3

    Williams College, USA

Author Information

  1. University of Newcastle, Australia

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 5 FEB 2013
  2. Published Print: 12 MAR 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781444334067

Online ISBN: 9781118324905



  • Foucault;
  • history;
  • archaeology;
  • empiricism;
  • genealogy;
  • philosophy


This chapter looks at some of the ways Foucault remade history and rethought the relationship between history and philosophy. It looks at Foucault's rejection, not only of traditional philosophical history, but also of traditional empiricist approaches to history. Then it turns to his alternative view of history as the mapping of transformations of forms of thought. Finally, it considers the transformations his view undergoes, from the “archaeology” of the 1960s, and the “genealogy” of the 1970s, to the “historical ontology of ourselves and our present” in the early 1980s, out of which emerges an understanding of philosophy in which historical reflection plays an integral part. Foucault's genealogical reformulation of his historical approach radicalizes the identification of difference. While archaeology historicizes frameworks of understanding, it imposes its own kind of unity on history.