Foucault, like David Letterman, made smirking glibness an art form.
p. 187 (Junk Bonds and Corporate Raiders : Academe in the Hour of the Wolf)
For the nineteenth century, the initial model of madness would be to believe oneself to be God, while for the preceding centuries it had been to deny God.Michel Foucault
Death’s annihilation is no longer anything because it was already everything, because life itself was only futility, vain words, a squabble of cap and bells. The head that will become a skull is already empty. Madness is the déja-vu of death.Michel Foucault
[T]ruly to escape Hegel involves an exact appreciation of the price we have to pay to detach ourselves from him. It assumes that we are aware of the extent to which Hegel, insidiously perhaps, is close to us; it implies a knowledge, in that which permits us to think against Hegel, of that which remains Hegelian. We have to determine the extent to which our anti-Hegelianism is possibly one of his tricks directed against us, at the end of which he stands, motionless, waiting for us.Michel Foucault
Do not ask who I am and do not ask me to remain the same: leave it to our bureaucrats and our police to see that our papers are in order. At least spare us their morality when we write.Michel Foucault
[L]'âme, prison du corps.Michel Foucault
I'm very proud that some people think that I'm a danger for the intellectual health of students. When people start thinking of health in intellectual activities, I think there is something wrong. In their opinion I am a dangerous man, since I am a crypto-Marxist, an irrationalist, a nihilist.Michel Foucault
Qui définit le moment où j'écris?Michel Foucault
One can say that the author is an ideological product, since we represent him as the opposite of his historically real function. (When a historically given function is represented in a figure that inverts it, one has an ideological production.) The author is therefore the ideological figure by which one marks the manner in which we fear the proliferation of meaning.Michel Foucault
There is object proof that homosexuality is more interesting than heterosexuality. It's that one knows a considerable number of heterosexuals who would wish to become homosexuals, whereas one knows very few homosexuals who would really like to become heterosexuals.Michel Foucault
What all these people are doing is not aggressive; they are inventing new possibilities of pleasure with strange parts of their body through the eroticization of the body. I think it's ... a creative enterprise, which has as one of its main features what I call the desexualization of pleasure.Michel Foucault
What is constitutive is the action that divides madness, and not the science elaborated once this division is made.Michel Foucault
The constitution of madness as a mental illness, at the end of the eighteenth century, affords the evidence of a broken dialogue, posits the separation as already effected, and thrusts into oblivion all those stammered, imperfect words without fixed syntax in which the exchange between madness and reason was made. The language of psychiatry, which is a monologue of reason about madness, has been established only on the basis of such a silence.Michel Foucault
Where can an interrogation lead us which does not follow reason in its horizontal course, but seeks to retrace in time that constant vertically which confronts European culture with what it is not?Michel Foucault
Enfermé dans le navire, d’où on n’échappe pas, le fou est confié à la rivière aux mille bras, à la mer aux mille chemins, à cette grande incertitude extérieure à tout. Il est prisonnier au milieu de la plus libre, de la plus ouverte des routes:;: solidement enchaîné à l’infini carrefour.Michel Foucault
In the Renaissance, madness was present everywhere and mingled with every experience by its images or its dangers. During the classical period, madness was shown, but on the other side of bars; if present, it was at a distance, under the eyes of a reason that no longer felt any relation to it and that would not compromise itself by too close a resemblance. Madness had become a thing to look at: no longer a monster inside oneself, but an animal with strange mechanisms, a bestiality from which man had long since been suppressed.Michel Foucault
Confession frees, but power reduces one to silence; truth does not belong to the order of power, but shares an origincal affinity with freedom: traditional themes in philosophy, which a political history of truth would have to overturn by showing that truth is not by nature free--nor error servile--but that its production is thoroughly imbued with relations of power. The confession is an example of this.Michel Foucault
What is important is that sex was not only a question of sensation and pleasure, of law and interdiction, but also of the true and the false.
L’important, c’est que le sexe n’ait pas été seulement affaire de sensation et de plaisir, de loi ou d’interdiction, mais aussi de vrai et de faux.
I continue to be very strongly influenced by Foucault's History of Sexuality , in which he warns us against imagining a complete liberation from power. There can never be a total liberation from power, especially in relation to the politics of sexuality.Michel Foucault
Foucault is an interesting case because I'm sure he honestly wants to undermine power but I think with his writings he reinforced it.Michel Foucault
So at bottom Foucault's enterprise seems stuck on the horns of a huge epistemological dilemma: if it tells the truth, then all knowledge is suspect in its pretense of objectivity; but in that case, how can the theory itself vouch for its truth? It's like the famous paradox about the Cretean Liar--and Foucault seemed quite unable to get out of it (which explains why he didn't even try to face it).Michel Foucault
Foucault annexed history to philosophy. Nobody yet knows for sure which of the two came out more damaged in the process, history or philosophy.Michel Foucault
As a philosopher sympathetic to Foucault recently remarked to me, Foucault failed in each of his major inquiries and, in desperation, went further afield from his areas of expertise. The History of Sexuality is a disaster. Page after page is sheer fantasy, unsupported by the ancient or modern historical record.Michel Foucault
A proper encounter with Foucault's work permanently changes one's understanding of how people are governed in modern society.Michel Foucault
Foucault revealed the universal truths hidden in societal extremes.Michel Foucault
A law which excludes all dialectic and all reconciliation; which establishes, consequently, both the flawless unity of knowledge and the uncompromising division of tragic existence; it rules over a world without twilight, which knows no effusion, nor the attenuated cares of lyricism; everything must be either waking or dream, truth or darkness, the light of being or the nothingness of shadow.Michel Foucault
Modern man no longer communicates with the madman ... There is no common language: or rather, it no longer exists; the constitution of madness as mental illness, at the end of the eighteenth century, bears witness to a rupture in a dialogue, gives the separation as already enacted, and expels from the memory all those imperfect words, of no fixed syntax, spoken falteringly, in which the exchange between madness and reason was carried out. The language of psychiatry, which is a monologue by reason about madness, could only have come into existence in such a silence.Michel Foucault
Les discours sont des éléments ou des blocs tactiques dans le champ des rapports de force; il peut y en avoir de différents et même de contradictoires à l'intérieur d'une même stratégie; ils peuvent au contraire circuler sans changer de forme entre des stratégies opposées.Michel Foucault
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