This page features a collection of the best resources on Michel Foucault. Just to be clear, there is no single best resource on Foucault. The best one will depend on your preferred learning style and the amount of time you want to spend learning about him.
To get started, simply choose one of the links below:
If you want an academic overview of Foucault:
- Read the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article on Michel Foucault. However, you should keep in mind that the SEP is often quite technical and this article may be difficult for beginners. It’s also quite long at around 9,600 words. Here’s a short excerpt that introduces Foucault:
“Foucault was born in Poitiers, France, on October 15, 1926. As a student he was brilliant but psychologically tormented. He became academically established during the 1960s, holding a series of positions at French universities, before his election in 1969 to the ultra-prestigious Collège de France, where he was Professor of the History of Systems of Thought until his death. From the 1970s on, Foucault was very active politically. He was a founder of the Groupe d’information sur les prisons and often protested on behalf of marginalized groups. He frequently lectured outside France, particularly in the United States, and in 1983 had agreed to teach annually at the University of California at Berkeley. An early victim of AIDS, Foucault died in Paris on June 25, 1984. In addition to works published during his lifetime, his lectures at the Collège de France, published posthumously, contain important elucidations and extensions of his ideas. . . .”
If you’re looking for a somewhat shorter and more engaging introduction:
If you’d prefer a video introduction:
If you prefer audio and podcasts:
Unfortunately, there’s only so much you can learn by using free online resources. If you want to learn more, check out this list of the best books on Foucault.
For more introductory philosophy resources and reading lists check out this collection of Resources and Reading Lists.