Understanding Poststructuralism presents a lucid guide to some of the most exciting and controversial ideas in contemporary thought. This is the first introduction to poststructuralism through its major theorists - Derrida, Deleuze, Foucault, Lyotard, Kristeva - and their central texts. Each chapter takes the reader through a key text, providing detailed summaries of the main points of each and a critical and detailed analysis of their central arguments. Ideas are clearly explained in terms of their value to both critical thinking and to contemporary issues. Criticisms of poststructuralism are also assessed. The aim throughout is to illuminate the main methods of poststructuralism - deconstruction, libidinal economics, genealogy and transcendental empiricism - in context. A balanced and up-to-date assessment of poststructuralism, the book presents the ideal introduction to this most revolutionary of philosophies.
James Williams is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Dundee.
Acknowledgements Abbreviations 1. Introduction: what is poststructuralism? 2. Poststructuralism as deconstruction: Jacques Derrida's Of Grammatology 3. Poststructuralism as philosophy as difference: Gilles Deleuze's Difference and Repetition 4. Poststructuralism as philosophy of the event: Lyotard's Discours, figure 5. Poststructuralism, history, genealogy: Michel Foucault's The Archaeology of Knowledge 6. Poststructuralism, psychoanalysis, linguistics: Julia Kristeva's Revolution in Poetic Language 7. Poststructuralism into the future Questions for discussion and revision Further reading Publications timeline Index