This paper evaluates Franco Moretti's 'distant reading' from the perspective of Foucauldian discourse analysis and basic principles of computer science. After a short account of the essential features of both Moretti's and Foucault's approaches, the author assesses their combined potential for automation or algorithmization. This is accomplished by focusing on the decompositional and operational aspects of Foucauldian archeology, which seems to provide (at least in principle) a way to realize or implement Moretti's idea of an automated distant reading. The technical feasibility of this theoretical solution is eventually criticized in the light of the constraints and limitations of computation compared to 'human interfaces'.
Keywords: algorithm, data mining, digital humanities, discourse analysis, distant reading, hermeneutics, Foucault, Moretti
How to Cite: Erb, Maurice. "Alles oder gar nichts lesen? Foucault, Moretti und die Verheißungen des Algorithmus." Le foucaldien 2, no. 1 (2016), 1–9. DOI: https://doi.org/10.16995/lefou.14 [Note: In 2022, Le foucaldien relaunched as Genealogy+Critique.]