March 28, 2007

There is Only One Epistémé - And Nothing Else

Epistémé (discursive formation): Based on the Greek word epistēmē, which means knowledge, a term used by twentieth-century French philosophical historian Michel Foucault to refer to: (1) a network of discursive practices - of thoughts, concepts, and cultural codes - dominant during a given historical period; and (2) the rules governing the transformation of those practices.

Ross Murfin and Supryia M. Ray, The Bedford Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms

There isn't anything outside of the epistémé. Basically the epistémé is every thought that occurs over a given time-frame. No, the time-frame isn't fixed it just flows into the next time-frame when people start thinking in the terms of that epistémé.

An epistémé isn't the same thing as ideology - bummer too, because that seems to be the easiest way to make heads or tales of what an epistémé actually is. The reason epistémé leaves ideology in the dust is because there are things outside of an ideology. There is nothing outside of the current epistémé, because the epistémé "governs the way that people perceive and approach the world at any given time."


What a confusing little word - though I will say, it's fun to have a blog entry up that includes so many accent marks . . . you go epistémé.

Posted by Diana Geleskie at March 28, 2007 8:19 PM | TrackBack
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