Precis for Foucault

According to Foucault the aim of the old fashion of history was to seek a total history but now the goal of history is to establish a general history. A total history is a history that paints a picture of all of history in a linear line of causes and affects; in effect, a series. A general history, as the name indicates, is more general. The general history calls to mind, the great image used by Foucalt, the image of a "table," that is to say, "a series of series" (10). Total history centers all of its implications and stories around a single focal point, worldview, understanding, or idea. This is bad because that really isn't how the world works. Let's get smaller than the history of the world, let's think about the history of your own life. I know not all of the events in my own life are totally connected, but some occur by chance or sporadically, I would much prefer to tell a general history of my life than a total history. I prefer a "table" to depict my history rather than a web/cluster brainstorm looking thing with one focal point circled in the middle with a bunch of lines connected to other events. I think this little analogy is part of the many interesting things Foucault has to say about history.

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