Original Research

Foucault and Shakespeare’s pedants, dotards and drunks

J. Gouws
Literator | Vol 11, No 3 | a811 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v11i3.811 | © 1990 J. Gouws | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 May 1990 | Published: 06 May 1990

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J. Gouws, Rhodes University, South Africa

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Abstract

Foucault’s claim that the Renaissance organised knowledge in terms of the episteme of resemblance can be challenged in principle and on empirical grounds. I argue that the empirical challenge can be delivered, first, by pointing to three Shakespeare scenes in which the use of analogy as a means of presenting knowledge is repudiated; and, second, by pointing to alternative ways of organising knowledge: classical authority, logic and rhetoric. The “theoretical” challenge must be delivered by questioning Foucault’s presuppositions.

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