In this book Gary Gutting tells, clearly and comprehensively, the story of French philosophy from 1890 to 1990. He examines the often neglected background of spiritualism, university idealism, and early philosophy of science, and also discusses the privileged role of philosophy in the French education system. Taking account of this background, together with the influences of avant-garde literature and German philosophy, he develops a rich account of existential phenomenology, which he argues is the central achievement of French thought during the century, and of subsequent structuralist and poststructuralist developments.
Gary Gutting is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame and a leading authority on the work of Michel Foucault. In addition to continental philosophy, he has done important work in philosophy of science and philosophy of religion. Gutting is the author of several books, including Michel Foucault's Archaeology of Scientific Knowledge (Cambridge, 1989), Pragmatic Liberalism and the Critique of Modernity (Cambridge, 1999), and the editor of The Cambridge Companion to Foucault (Cambridge, 1994).