This contribution has two goals. First, it proposes an analytical framework devoted to the study of controversies that takes into account recent changes in intellectual history and sociology. Drawing upon the innovations brought about by science studies, it describes the main characteristics of situations of controversy. Second, it seeks to test this analytical framework in order to account for a singular and famous controversy, the one that opposed Michel Foucault to Jacques Derrida about the interpretation of Descartes’first Meditation.