Madness and Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reasonby Michel Foucault
Perhaps the French philosopher's masterpiece, which is concerned with an extraordinary question: What does it mean to be mad? See more details below
Perhaps the French philosopher's masterpiece, which is concerned with an extraordinary question: What does it mean to be mad?
- Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
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- 5.15(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.57(d)
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The Social Construction of Madness This is a Michel Foucault masterpiece that delves into the history of insanity. Foucault was a student of philosophy and psychology, and it opened up his mind so that he could study the history of mental health. His book provides a compelling exploration of leprosy and other ailments that plagued Europe. One of the biggest questions Foucault strives to answer is whether or not madness is a social construction. In exploring the idea, the author is able to negate many classical ideas that have dominated culture in recent years. He even relates treatment of madness to the process that eliminated leprosy as he states, “the formulas of exclusion would be strangely repeated” with “poor vagabonds, criminals and ‘deranged minds’.” While this book centers on the treatment of the insane in the clinical settings, it also explores other facets of mental health. In this book, Foucault talks about early doctors and nurses in psychiatry. He also explores the relationship between religious fanaticism and the concept of moral treatment for those who were deemed insane. This makes for an intriguing book that is also easily accessible for readers of varying levels. Foucault is also the author of the book "Discipline & Punish: The Birth of the Prison", a book that is comparable to "Madness and Civilization". Both are books about society’s reactions to something deemed “not normal.” "Madness and Civilization" is a great choice for anybody working or interested in working in the field of mental health. This book encompasses a wide range of ideas from art, literature, history and philosophy as they relate to confinement, delusions and social ideology. As a philosopher contemplating madness, Foucault is a genius.
This book has a methodical view point. Ironically it wasn't meant to be that way. I enjoyed this book thoroughly. I hope you will to.
For Foucault,Descarts enmarks the forcoming of the 'ratio'. Whether man intents to construct a civilized society; and others seems to follow a way, a control path, Michael Foucault questions the truth that goes parallel to reason. If madness exist and reason can conclude to be proven, then we ought to look into those discourses that silence yells out.