Abnormal: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1974-1975 by Michel Foucault

By Michel Foucault

From 1971 until eventually his loss of life in 1984, Foucault gave public lectures on the world-famous university de France. Attended by means of hundreds of thousands, those have been seminal occasions on the earth of French letters. Picador is proud to be publishing the lectures in 13 volumes.

The lectures comprising Abnormal commence by way of reading the function of psychiatry in glossy legal justice, and its approach to categorizing people who "resemble their crime sooner than they devote it." development at the issues of societal self-defense in "Society has to be Defended," Foucault indicates how and why defining "abnormality" and "normality" have been preorogatives of energy within the 19th century.

the school de France lectures upload immeasurably to our appreciation of Foucault's paintings and supply a special window into his thinking.

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Additional resources for Abnormal: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1974-1975

Sample text

The administrative grotesque has not been merely that kind of visionary perception of administration that we find in Balzac, Dostoyevsky, Courteline, or Kafka. The administrative grotesque is a real possibility for the bureaucracy. Ubu the "pen pusher" is a functional component of modern administration, just as 8 Ja n u a ry 1 9 7 5 13 in the hands of a mad charlatan was a functional feature of Roman imperial power. And what I say about the Roman Empire, w hat I say about modern bureaucracy, could also be said about many other mechanical forms of power, such as Nazism or Fascism.

Whence the explanation of an action provoked by the profound repugnance he would have experienced. These two assessments were submitted to the court of appeals in order to determine which of the two was guilty. Do not tell me now that it is the judges who judge and that psychiatrists only analyze the mentality, the personality, psychotic or otherwise, of the subjects in question. The psychiatrist really becomes a judge; he really undertakes an investigation, and not at the level of an individual's legal respon­ sibility, but of his or her real guilt.

English translation by Barbara Wright ( London: Eyre Methuen, 1966 ). See the Grand Larousse, vol. 7 ( Paris: Larousse, 1978 ): "The word describes some­ one who, by his grotesque, absurd, or ludicrous nature, recalls the figure of Ubu"; Le Grand Robert, 2d edition, vol. " 21. Allusion to the development of literature inspired by the opposition of the senatorial aristocracy to the strengthening of imperial power. It is illustrated most notably by the De vita Caesarum (The Lives of the Ceasars) by Suetonius in which virtuous emperors (pnncipes) are contrasted with the vicious emperors ( monstra) represented by Nero, Ca­ ligula, Vitellius, and Heliogabalus.

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