In Antiquity, “folly” (what in modernity, we’d call madness) was celebrated. Frequently, the afflicted expressed some example of “blind truth.” However, in Madness and Civilization Foucault created a genealogy using original documents to establish an adequate context for mental illness, folly, and unreason. That is to say, to re-create how those impairments existed in their… Read More Foucault (1961), “Madness and Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason.”
“This book is about space, about language, about death; it is about the act of seeing, the gaze” (ix). Foucault begins by describing Pomme’s treatment of a female hysteric, who he directed to take bath lasting ten to twelve hours for ten months. As result, her skin peeled off along with the intestines. The destroyed… Read More Foucault (1963), “The Birth of the Clinic: An Archaeology of Medical Perception”
A brief evaluation of Max Weber’s concept of bureaucracy.
Michel Foucault. Disciple and Punish: The Birth of the Prison (1977) The panopticon is machine for surveillance; it allows one to totally see without ever being seen. Regularly used in prisons, this apparatus “induces in the inmate a state of conscious and permanent visibility that assures the automatic functioning of power” (201). However, this apparatus… Read More Panopticism, Old Power Regime
Michel Foucault. Disciple and Punish: The Birth of the Prison (1977). The purpose of execution as a public spectacle is a ceremony of power, meant to reinforce authority of the sovereign. When a law is broken, it offends the obedient, the sovereign who created it, and thus reparation must be sought; otherwise, the authority of… Read More Body of the Condemned, Spectacle of the Scaffold