In the article, its author gives a brief integral assessment of the work of Michel Foucault, whose book Words and things. Archaeology of the Humanities in his translation, made in collaboration with N. S. Avtonomova and published in 1977, became the main source for Russian readers acquaintance with this philosopher. The author draws a parallel between Foucault and representatives of the Frankfurt school, who are United by a critical attitude to the new European civilization. In general, Foucault's ideas, the author believes, were more productive for the methodology of history than for philosophy itself. At the level of fundamental philosophical ideas, in his opinion, more promising are not so much the structuralist-poststructuralist principles used by Foucault but the ideas of personalistic dialogism put forward by M. Bakhtin. Of particular value, according to the author, is the later work of the French philosopher, in which he departs from his previous depersonalizing human attitudes, turning to the themes of hermeneutics of the subject, to analyze it in the practices of “self” and “self-care”.