3. The Order of Things

  1. Christopher Falzon2,
  2. Timothy O'Leary3 and
  3. Jana Sawicki4
  1. Patrice Maniglier

Published Online: 5 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118324905.ch3

A Companion to Foucault

A Companion to Foucault

How to Cite

Maniglier, P. (2013) The Order of Things, in A Companion to Foucault (eds C. Falzon, T. O'Leary and J. Sawicki), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118324905.ch3

Editor Information

  1. 2

    University of Newcastle, Australia

  2. 3

    University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

  3. 4

    Williams College, USA

Author Information

  1. University of Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense, France

Publication History

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

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781444334067

Online ISBN: 9781118324905



  • anthropology;
  • concept of man;
  • Foucault;
  • philosophy;
  • structuralism;
  • The Order of Things (OT)


In The Order of Things (OT), Foucault recounts the birth and imminent death of Man as an object of study for science and philosophy. Foucault's point is that this very notion of “Man” is dependent on a particular transformation in the history of Being. The mere formulation of this hypothesis opens up a whole series of questions. First, is it true that Man has only become an object of concern in the late eighteenth century. Secondly, if Man has indeed only recently become an object of theoretical interest, is Foucault's description and explanation of this process correct. Thirdly, why should we overcome the concept of “ Man”. Fourthly, in what sense was structuralism deemed to help us overcoming the limitations of this paradigm. In conclusion, if OT has to be overcome, it seems that it should be on grounds slightly different from those usually advanced.