Folie et déraison. Histoire de la folie à l'âge classique

Folie et déraison. Histoire de la folie à l'âge classiqueBy sopho year in college I was beginning to think of becoming a psychotherapist and actually held two jobs at a psychiatric hospital during the year following, one setting up a treatment assessment program, the other administrating and evaluating diagnostic tests such as the MMPI Then, later, back at Grinnell, I was trained in drug counseling a worked in the school s crisis center as well as in its draft counseling office My real interest was in continental depth psychology, but the jobs and the regular psych courses kept involving me in what passed for psychotherapeutics for most people exposed to it in the United States My major in Religion was partially a front for extended, mostly independent, study of depth psychology, the department being liberal about allowing such things.Upon graduation I went on immediately to Union Theological Seminary, majoring in their Psychiatry and Religion program and interning at a teaching hospital of Columbia University while attending seminars there, one for its psychiatric residents, another for psychiatric social workers and a third for chaplains like myself Here, in New York, the emphasis was far psychoanalytic than in Iowa or Illinois Finishing seminary I intended to go on for an STM with further study at the Institute for Religion and Health, coming under care of the UUA with every expectation of being a psychotherapist salaried by the church, our clients paying in accord with their ability to do so My interests by then had become focused on questions of value and faith.Sadly, the UUA discontinued its pastoral counseling program one that Alfred Adler had worked for upon coming to NYC as a refugee from Nazism and, happily, I had fallen in love for a hometown girl The consequence is that I returned to Chicago.In Chicago I sat for the city and state civil service examinations pertinent to psychotherapeutic practice Job offers came in, but all of them were for coercive programs, either in the prison system or in drug rehabilitation Although I d trained in drug counseling, I had no interest in serving in such a capacity if it had any coercive element and the positions Illinois was offering were all connected to the criminal justice system I ended up working in three institutions for adolescents, all of whom had been designated psychotic, virtually none of whom were.A few years of this and I returned to school Illinois at that time had tougher requirements than New York A Ph.D would be necessary for the kind of practice I was interested in and for being able to pursue further Institute training Loyola University, just a mile from home, had the largest philosophy program in the States, my roommate was in it, and the department was continental in orientation Since my primary interest was in value questions, the fit seemed good, certainly better than their psychology programs.Here, too, there was disappointment The Advanced Standing Committee of the graduate school took a year to evaluate my previous four years of graduate study, leaving me adrift, not knowing what my requirements would be I took courses relevant to what I thought would be my dissertation topic, then, that year later, found I had a bunch of stuff to do that wasn t relevant Meanwhile I discovered that the department had but one person, Richard Chessick, who knew anything about my subject area Then, having finished the course work for the M.A and being one course from finishing the Ph.D., he had his contract terminated Who to be on the committee I thought seriously of switching to political economy.Meanwhile, I got a job lead from the fellow, Bill Ellos, I d been a research assistant to for three years, a lead that led to a job offer, albeit only part time to start, in the dean s office of the part time division The people seemed nice, the job useful, besides, it would give my new wife the hometown girl free tuition, so I took it, obtaining another one at Evanston Hospital to help pay off the school loans Eventually it became full time, promotions followed, I was made assistant dean and a career path quite different than the one I d set out on seemed clear.Although I continued to take classes at Loyola while working there, now I wanted to teach in one of their interdisciplinary graduate programs which would combine religion, psychology and philosophy That seemed to fulfill the need to be useful much along the lines that being a psychotherapist had once seemed to promise Besides, unlike most psychology practiced in the U.S.A., it wouldn t be coercive.It was during this period of settling into the dean s office that I read Foucault s Madness and Civilization, a book which just served to reinforce what I d read about previously in the study of the anti psychiatry movement, the humanistic psychologists and the works of Thomas Szasz and what I d learned working in institutions supposedly designed to help the mentally ill. I must admit, I didn t read this entire book However, I do feel I read enough of it to get the general idea Foucault is trying to distance himself from history here He dislikes the victorious narrative of history and instead seeks to build an anthropology based around one aspect of the human sciences, employing the method of archaeology Borrowing Nietzsche s genealogy approach, Foucault excavates various uses of confinement or separation of the madman overtime, and looks at shifts and discontinuities in the usage of madness and how society of course, always French seeks to deal with them First the mad are put in boats and floated out to see, then they are kept in general penal facilities, and then put in their own special asylums, where even shades of madness can be teased out The mad are deemed unreasonable and unintelligible by society, and therefore no attempt is made to hear their voice, which Foucault represents as silence or a murmur Rational man, throughout all of these periods, finds it necessary to find a mad Other and cordon him off Reason needs an intelligible unreason in order to define itself Enter homo dialecticus In the appendix we see a hint of what may be Foucault the cultural theorist, hypothesizing that humans need unreason, in the form of dreams, fantasies, madness, etc., in order to define our existences In the end, however, it is hard to get to any idea of a real truth beneath these dialectics, as each side is a cultural construct In this text, we also see the beginnings of Foucault s ideas about sites serving as technologies of policing, which he will expand in later works dealing both with external policing and internal self care. UPDATE I realize now as I read Dreyfus and Rabinow that I completely misread this book I read it too quickly, and the book is maddeningly eccentric and so difficult to comprehend Further, I read it without sufficient context either of this book itself, or of Foucault s corpus, or of the philosophical background in which or against which MF is operating The problem is intensified by the fact that Foucault is one of those thinkers who changed his mind extensively from first to last on important matters, and therefore the philosophy of this early work is theoretically incomplete and does not fully know where it will end up by the end of MF s life Add to that that there are out and out absurdities of method his historical method and metaphysical positions that are ridiculous that are both implicit or explicit within structures and ideas that are nonetheless profound and of great signficance, with the result that the naive reader which I am especially given how little I know about Continental thought can hardly disengage and disentangle or, consequently, even read the book at hand with sufficient clarity to get it in any focus.People assume that the way to read a philosopher is simply to jump in and read the text This, in my experience, is usually a great mistake While one cannot understand the expository literature without familiarity with the text, one cannot often really understand the text without the help and guidance of those who have gone down this path before whether teachers or books Thus, a good grounding in good secondary literature is often essential to even being able to begin read the texts with any understanding especially if the material is fundamentally foreign to one s way of thinking or intellectual experiences postwar thought for me classical ancient Greek thought for others.This is not true for all thinkers some can be read and the secondary literature simply debases them But it is true for many, and seems for me to be true for Postmodernism.At any rate this should be re rated Either to five, or maybe to something else WhateverOne last point regarding MF s Archaeology and the general claim that all knowledge or discourse is mediated or indeed, conditioned by assumptions that cannot be accessed that is, on the postmodern claims of the relatively of all knowledge or discourse.If one has to carve up a turkey, or pull apart a car engine or, to maintain the analogy, draw a diagram a discourse of the skeleton or the engine to be carved or taken apart will this diagram be contaminated by theory or deep structures And why not For the simple reason that the reality has, at least at the given level, a real structure to it and it is this real structure that justifies and makes possible analysis as a neutral procedure Thus, for Plato, it is the reality of the theory of Ideas that makes the dialectic and diaeresis possible and effective and not the dialectic that proves that the Ideas exist Without the underlying structural realities, the procedures would run into contradictions at every turn, and that they do not in fact do so is proof, by a reductio ad absurdum, of the reality of the Ideas.Provisionally, of course One last point about Kuhn s treatment of Aristotle s Physics which Dreyfus and Rabinow discuss Much of what seems strange in Aristotle s Physics can be explained simply by two assumptions that were clearly false He assumes, in cosmogony, that the earth is at the center of the universe, and had to adjust his mathematics to this assumption The best book on this, apart of course, from Neugebauer s Exact Sciences in Antiquity, is D.R Dicks, Early Greek Astronomy and because he assumes that rest is the natural state of a body See Henri Carteron, La notion De Force Dans Le Systeme d Aristote.ORIGINAL REVIEW What can one say how can one rate a work like this Certainly, Foucault is a genius there are portions of this work that are sheer poetry Yet much of it is errant nonsense it s method is completely absurd and fraudulant yet there lurk beneath the method and the errant certain deep intuitions hurled at the reader hurled at the void in ways calculated to undermine their seriousness by overvaluing their meaning by you see, the recursive loop here Rated as philosophy or as poetry, this would receive 5 stars for its originality, if nothing else And for its inevitable working out of the modern and postmodern logic of self annihiliation As a work of scholarship or history or, indeed, in its method, it receives one star For its influence, which has been baleful both morally and in the Academy one star for it s flash in the night of a despair that Foucault himself was moving to resolve had he lived, he d have ended up perhaps a Platonist well, there was an evolution of Foucault, no question 5 stars.So I ll give this review just one star, so as to jar the reader Foucault would approve. Philosophy for Foucault is a discourse, I guess a series of texts that cluster around a single topic and have a meaning as much based on their history as their current meaning It is too easy to get tangled in knots with words here but this book is actually quite a simple read and incredibly interesting There is the bit that is often quoted the idea that hysteria was once considered to be a woman s madness caused by her womb wandering around her body and thereby causing mental problems I m quite sure it would.But the truly interesting bits of this are around madness as a social construction It is fascinating that prior to the rise of capitalism madness did not really exist There were town idiots, but these people were often protected as being possessed by spirits or something similar Apparently Bedlam, the mental asylum, had previously been a hospital for leprosy and once leprosy no longer infected Europe it was converted into a mental asylum somehow we had coped prior to this without such asylums Foucault s point being that our society needs outcasts and when there were no longer any lepers we created madmen There is remarkable stuff about tours of asylums conducted by the inmates who might throw a bit of a turn along and way and need to be replaced by another inmate I know that up until the late 1800 such tours were still popular forms of weekend entertainment in Melbourne.The relationship between madness and unemployment how being unemployed was a clear sign of being insane helped put many people into work houses of the mad.This really is a fascinating book and well worth reading If I have concerns about it, they are mainly around the idea that by defining madness as a social construction it did allow governments to close down institutions and put the mad onto the streets with no care and no protection. It took me almost two months to finish this behemoth, but it was worth it Two months ago, I was reading an article in the New York Times on modern Catholicism that mentioned Foucault, and from there I read a brief overview on Wikipedia There I found a reference to the History of Madness, Foucault s doctoral thesis, and since I m interested in insanity, asylums and so forth, I checked this one out of the library.I m not going to lie, this is a dense tome I read it in 5 20 page increments, mostly because I had to keep stopping to look up a word or reference For example, I learned that pyrexia is another word for fever I particularly enjoyed the beginning segment speaking of how the mad were clumped together with other outsider groups homosexuals, criminals, and libertines for example There was also a great exploration of how leprosy in the Middle Ages had already created a structure for isolation of unwanted members of society this really appealed to me as I had a chapter on medieval treatments of leprosy in my undergraduate thesis It s also interesting how much of the thought applied to the understanding of madness applies today although to other groups For example, all those subject to the Great Confinement were those who operated outside the norms of society the indigent, the poor, the mad, the criminal, and religious fanatics By confining them, society s goal was to keep them out of society and therefore from interfering in the day to day life of others, and preventing them from corrupting others I see this idea continually reflected in America, in the divisive tone of politics, where the poor and indigent are treated as children in need of comforting by the Left and as non functioning members of society by the Right I was only mildly disappointed that the book did not extend to the 19th century treatment of madness, however, as Foucault explains, there is far in this era to talk about than can be covered in this book At that point, madness stopped being a topic of philosophy and became instead a disease, and a subject for physicians. I was a double major in psychology and English as an undergraduate, with a minor in philosophy When I graduated in January of 1998, I hadn t yet heard about whether I d been admitted to graduate school and couldn t find a job teaching English, my back up plan I decided to turn my philosophy minor into a major, as I already had courses than required for a minor and was only 4 away It so happened that I was missing were mostly already determined 1 history of ancient philosophy, 2 classical modern philosophy, 3 senior seminar I also had one elective I took contemporary European philosophy with Tom Sheehan For my senior seminar, I decided to take a graduate course on Foucault and Deleuze, as I had generally enjoyed continental philosophy and especially Deleuze in a class I had read Marcuse, my prof suggested I read Deleuze and Guattari s Anti Oedipus Capitalism and Schizophrenia and chat with him about it over coffee Unfortunately, most of the class was on Foucault and we only covered two Deleuze texts A Foucault, and B Difference and Repetition However, this means I m well versed in Foucault than I d care to be Before the class started, I talked to my prof, Andrew Cutrofello, and asked if there was anything he suggested I read before class started He suggested three 1 James Miller s by the way, my father s name The Passions of Michel Foucault, as a biography of him, 2 Madness and Civilization, and 3 Discipline and Punish We wouldn t be reading 2 and 3 in class, as the focus was on Foucault s epistemology i.e., The Order of Things, The Archaeology of Knowledge, etc So, I read them all 1 was full of stories of Foucault s sex life, anal fisting, and the like I had a hard time thinking of a person with my father s name writing about these However, 2 and 3 were interesting to me Madness and Civilization was especially interesting, as I was a psychology major, with interests in clinical psychology Unfortunately, I took the work to be founded on historical facts, and it wouldn t be until my Ph.D program in clinical psychology, where I wrote my history of psychology paper on changing bases of diagnoses of mental illness, that I found that Foucault s historical facts were often debated and sometimes made up.The Mahers, two Harvard historians, published a reply to Foucault s text in The American Psychologist According to them, in 1494, Sebastian Brant s wrote a book called Narrenschiff, or Ship of Fools However, Brant intended Narrenschiff to be a historical allegory, and not actually a recounting of historical facts In fact, the only evidence of such ships were wood cutting with pictures of boats and ruffians on then Foucault mistakenly took this to mean that these ships were real entities He went on to base a large portion of his text on the idea of such things While there clearly is reason to believe in culturally and temporally specific aspects of diagnosis, the rather radical epistemological break that Foucault was propagating was largely false Further, the psychologists, who rarely go so far as to research things they like for themselves, started publishing Foucault s work as fact, thereby leading to falsities being largely believed in the field According to the Mahers, psychology texts in the 1980s took the satire of the ship of fools to be fact because of Foucault If you re interested in reading their research, see the following article Maher, W.B Maher, B 1982 Stultifera Navis or Ignis Fatuus American Psychologist, 37 7 , 756 761I hear that Madness and Civilization was a shorted version of Foucault s text, The History of Madness I have not yet read the latter, and am certainly hoping that his sloppy scholarship was explained in it Maybe that should be on my to read shelf, of maybe I m too disappointed in the let down of a seemingly good text being flawed that makes me not wanting to read it. It is said that Foucault enjoyed being whipped. So far I m about fifty or sixty pages in, and I ve completely lost track of what this gibbering madman is raving about Perhaps this is a poor translation, but after the first ten pages even individual sentences are meaningless and syntactically ambiguous I re read paragraphs, sometimes ten or twelve times, but I simply can t make any of this make any sense I ll slog through for a couple chapters to see if it gets any better, but I don t have much hope for this basket of word salad. Some of what we read here has become commonplace in the world of ideas, but this is where it started for many thinkers of the twentieth century In this volume Foucault illustrates how notions like madness are socially and culturally constructed in any given age and place The criteria for madness are made up, by us, they in part invented for particular social and political purposes Leper colonies housed confined kept from society those with this disease, and when leprosy largely died out there were these places of confinement we could use for the poor, criminals, and anyone we didn t like, and this is what we do today, though our ideas about madness what it is and how to treat it, how to exclude those that have it in various ways are changing constantly Foucault goes on to write what he calls archeaologies of other disciplines and institutions, but he begins here This was his dissertation, or a version of it, written on the basis of his study in a variety of clinics, his study of philosophy and psychology, and his own experience with therapy It s his first big book, maybe his masterpiece There are books on the history of madness, done in sort of chronological fashion, getting to some sort of accumulative notion of what it is This is how arguments are usually made since the Enlightenment, according to the rules of Reason But Foucault isn t trying to write in this fashion, he has in mind exploring the varieties of madness as with William James, not what religion is, but The Varieties of Religious experience , showing how madness is depicted in art in various periods, in the Renaissance for instance as a part of the world, as a source sometimes of insight and wisdom and difference and mystical or just creative vision, then shifting dramatically in the classical period to horror, to something we need to fear and confine As I said, in the forty years since it was written, ideas of the social construction of reality have become sort of now commonplace, but it was groundbreaking then, work from one of the 2 or 3 greatest thinkers of the twentieth century, maybe, from someone who may have begun this journey in the late forties when he was taken by his parents to a therapist who suggested a cure for his being gay something that was indeed considered a disorder by psychiatry until relatively recently, though as we know, some people in the world still think it is something one can cure.Madness Civ is also a work contending with the universalist assumptions of Grand Theory such as psychoanalysis or Marxism as One Central theory for understanding How the World Works Later, he would himself explore the structures and language or discourse of institutions and disciplines to see the pervasive presence of Power operating everywhere, which many would see as his own Grand Theory of the World Foucault wants to show how power is bound up with knowledge What we understand knowledge to be is a political consideration, sometimes.I have used this book in a class I teach which is a sort of literary inquiry into madness How is it depicted How is it defined in various settings, in certain stories How is related to the psychic, paranormal, fantasy, horror, faith Why is magic not considered knowledge in most settings I also use the book in a course on language and literacy We inevitably talk about our families, our own experiences with madness psychiatry how we treat madness today the homeless crazies that ride public transportation, largely untreated today.Foucault, with Thomas Szasz and others, were seen as part of an anti psychiatry movement Maybe the de institutionalization of the mentally ill came about in part because of this movement I think in general Foucault, following the Renaissance view of madness, romanticizes it as a kind of alternative truth And I worked in a psych hospital for a number of years and worried about the over medicalization of people I still do But I have a son who sometimes experiences psychotic episodes I think without some treatment he would not be able to fully function in the world I live in Chicago where there are thousands of mentally ill folks on the streets, inadequately treated, in my opinion And in my view you can romanticize all of that These folks aren t just free many of them are actually homeless So while I think Foucault s book is brilliant I really do I like Kind Lear s wise fool and the art of Bosch and the poetry of sweet mad John Clare it also has to be understood with some caution. In This Classic Account Of Madness, Michel Foucault Shows Once And For All Why He Is One Of The Most Distinguished European Philosophers Since The End Of World War II Madness And Civilization, Foucault S First Book And His Finest Accomplishment, Will Change The Way In Which You Think About Society Evoking Shock, Pity And Fascination, It Might Also Make You Question The Way You Think About Yourself

Michel Foucault was a French philosopher, social theorist and historian of ideas He held a chair at the Coll ge de France with the title History of Systems of Thought, but before he was Professor at University of Tunis, Tunisia, and then Professor at University Paris VIII He lectured at several different Universities over the world as at the University at Buffalo, the University of California,

[Reading] ➿ Folie et déraison. Histoire de la folie à l'âge classique By Michel Foucault –
  • Paperback
  • 304 pages
  • Folie et déraison. Histoire de la folie à l'âge classique
  • Michel Foucault
  • English
  • 24 April 2018
  • 9780415253857

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