This text is a classic of French post-structuralist scholarship and is widely recommended on humanities courses across a variety of disciplines. Foucault's analysis of psychology is a devastating critique of the common understanding of insanity.
Author: Michel Foucault
Release Date: 2013-01-30
Michel Foucault examines the archeology of madness in the West from 1500 to 1800 - from the late Middle Ages, when insanity was still considered part of everyday life and fools and lunatics walked the streets freely, to the time when such people began to be considered a threat, asylums were first built, and walls were erected between the "insane" and the rest of humanity.
When it was first published in France in 1961 as Folie et Déraison: Histoire de la Folie à l'âge Classique, few had heard of a thirty-four year old philosopher by the name of Michel Foucault. By the time an abridged English edition was published in 1967 as Madness and Civilization, Michel Foucault had shaken the intellectual world. This translation is the first English edition of the complete French texts of the first and second edition, including all prefaces and appendices, some of them unavailable in the existing French edition. History of Madness begins in the Middle Ages with vivid descriptions of the exclusion and confinement of lepers. Why, Foucault asks, when the leper houses were emptied at the end of the Middle Ages, were they turned into places of confinement for the mad? Why, within the space of several months in 1656, was one out of every hundred people in Paris confined? Shifting brilliantly from Descartes and early Enlightenment thought to the founding of the Hôpital Général in Paris and the work of early psychiatrists Philippe Pinel and Samuel Tuke, Foucault focuses throughout, not only on scientific and medical analyses of madness, but also on the philosophical and cultural values attached to the mad. He also urges us to recognize the creative and liberating forces that madness represents, brilliantly drawing on examples from Goya, Nietzsche, Van Gogh and Artaud. The History of Madness is an inspiring and classic work that challenges us to understand madness, reason and power and the forces that shape them.
Author: Sander L. Gilman
Publisher: U of Nebraska Press
Release Date: 1982
Seeing the Insane is a richly detailed cultural history of madness and art in the Western world, showing how the portrayal of stereotypes has both reflected and shaped the perception and treatment of the mentally disturbed.
Throughout most of his career, Michel Foucault consistently refused to say much about himself and was reluctant to be defined in either professional or personal terms. His stance was ‘Do not ask who I am, and do not ask me to remain the same’. In the last years of his life, he changed his stance, gave many interviews and began to speak of an ‘aesthetics of existence’ in which ‘the life’ and ‘the works’ merged into one. In this new biography and critical work, David Macey argues that these contradictory views make it possible to relate Foucault’s work to his life in an original and exciting way. Moving between the major works and Foucault’s life (and especially his political life) Macey demonstrates a vital aspect of Foucault’s writings – their concern with issues that apply to everyone and that have an immediate effect on our lives. The book also explores the complex intellectual-political world in which Michel Foucault lived and worked. It traces his career, which took him from a comfortable provincial background to the pinnacle of the French academic system, in terms of the networks of friendship and the relations of power that sustained it. Macey concludes that Foucault was a very good and successful strategist and campaigner and that his association with certain periodicals and journals at certain periods was not a matter of chance, but reflected strategic alliances that were formed within a political-cultural field in constant motion.
Author: Gary Gutting
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 2005-07-18
For Michel Foucault, philosophy was a way of questioning the allegedly necessary truths that underpin the practices and institutions of modern society. He carried this out in a series of deeply original and strikingly controversial studies on the origins of modern medical and social scientific disciplines. These studies have raised fundamental questions about the nature of human knowledge and its relation to power structures, and have become major topics of discussion throughout the humanities and social sciences. The essays in this volume provide a comprehensive overview of Foucault's major themes and texts, from his early work on madness through his history of sexuality. Special attention is also paid to thinkers and movements, from Kant through current feminist theory, that are particularly important for understanding his work and its impact. This revised edition contains five new essays and revisions of many others, and the extensive bibliography has been updated.
Two French Protestant refugees in eighteenth-century Amsterdam gave the world an extraordinary work that intrigued and outraged readers across Europe. In this captivating account, Lynn Hunt, Margaret Jacob, and Wijnand Mijnhardt take us to the vibrant Dutch Republic and its flourishing book trade to explore the work that sowed the radical idea that religions could be considered on equal terms. Famed engraver Bernard Picart and author and publisher Jean Frederic Bernard produced The Religious Ceremonies and Customs of All the Peoples of the World, which appeared in the first of seven folio volumes in 1723. They put religion in comparative perspective, offering images and analysis of Jews, Catholics, Muslims, the peoples of the Orient and the Americas, Protestants, deists, freemasons, and assorted sects. Despite condemnation by the Catholic Church, the work was a resounding success. For the next century it was copied or adapted, but without the context of its original radicalism and its debt to clandestine literature, English deists, and the philosophy of Spinoza. Ceremonies and Customs prepared the ground for religious toleration amid seemingly unending religious conflict, and demonstrated the impact of the global on Western consciousness. In this beautifully illustrated book, Hunt, Jacob, and Mijnhardt cast new light on the profound insight found in one book as it shaped the development of a modern, secular understanding of religion.
Compelling and highly influential, Michel Foucault's Madness is an indispensable work for readers who wish to understand the intellectual evolution of one of the most important social theorists of the twentieth century. Written in 1954 and revised in 1962, Madness delineates the profound shift that occurred in Foucault's thought during this period. The first iteration reflects the philosopher's early interest in and respect for Freudian theory and the psychoanalytic tradition. The second part marks a dramatic change in Foucault's thinking. Examining the history of madness as a social and cultural construct, he moves into a radical critique of Freud and toward the postmodern deconstruction that was to dominate and define his later work.
Author: Michel Foucault
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Release Date: 1980
Genre: Language Arts & Disciplines
Language and the birth of ''literature.'' A preface to transgression. Language to infinity. The father's ''no.'' Fantasia of the library.--Counter-memory: the philosophy of difference. What is an author? Nietzsche, genealogy, history. Theatrum philosophicum.--Practice: knowledge and power. History of systems of thought. Intellectuals and power. Revolutionary action: ''Until now.''
Author: Michel Foucault
Publisher: U of Nebraska Press
Release Date: 1975
Genre: Literary Criticism
To free his father and himself from his mother's tyranny, Pierre Rivière decided to kill her. On June 3,1835, he went inside his small Normandy house with a pruning hook and cut to death his mother, his eighteen-year-old sister, and his seven-year-old brother. Then, in jail, he wrote a memoir to justify the whole gruesome tale. Michel Foucault, author of Madness and Civilization and Discipline and Punish, collected the relevant documents of the case, including medical and legal testimony, police records. and Rivière's memoir. The Rivière case, he points out, occurred at a time when many professions were contending for status and power. Medical authority was challenging law, branches of government were vying. Foucault's reconstruction of the case is a brilliant exploration of the roots of our contemporary views of madness, justice, and crime.
Michel Foucault continues to be hugely influential. His diagnoses challenge us to rethink crucial phenomena such as madness, discipline, the human sciences, the state, neoliberalism, sexuality and subject formation. Based on his work in its entirety, and with special emphasis on his many recently published lecture series, this book provides an updated, comprehensive and original account of his thought. By reading Foucault as a philosopher, it offers an extensive systematic assessment and discussion of his unique conception of philosophical practice and brings a unifying trajectory in his work to light.