Michel Foucault

Patito de Hule

Ad Honorem
Jan 2009
Minneapolis, MN
I picked up copies of Michel Foucault's History of Madness and his [/i]Discipline and Punish[/i]. I haven't started reading them yet, but I was interested because I had a 25% off coupon and I'm interested in institutions (as in asylums, prisons, and hospitals) and they are often cited in histories of penology. Usually they are found in the philosophy department.

Has anyone read either? Are they history as well as philosophy?


Ad Honorem
Apr 2008
I've read disipline and Punish, great book and basically it's philosophy because he doesn't cite his historical sources much.
Nov 2009
Yes, I would say that it's more philosophy than history too. Rather a new proposal of reading history which he suggests. I have read the "History of Sexuality", and parts from his other works. Interesting stuff I must say. His views might be a bit outdated but I still like Foucault very much:)


Forum Staff
Mar 2008
On a mountain top in Costa Rica. yeah...I win!!
I have read Madness and Civilization. Is that a different work or a repackaging?
I found it quite interesting. But reject most of his philosophical twists of thought. (Too much Adorno and Marcuse for my taste) Foucault casts modern society as a prison with modern man its inmate. I like the original Bernard Shaw version better. Shaw made a joke (earth is an interplanetary insane asylum) and expresses his annoyance. Foucault makes the joke a concrete observation and expects everyone to be annoyed. On first reading it (many years ago) I was impressed and even overwhelmed by his scholarship. I have since learned that his scholarship has serious faults, at times even mendacious. Bottom line for me is that he has created a new genre of pessimism. It is not recommended reading for those who have not completed the prerequisites.
Judging from your previous posts, rubber ducky, I know you can handle it and will most likely enjoy arguing with him.
I'll quit here. I feel my spring getting wound tight. Enjoy.