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Discipline & Punish: The Birth of the Prison (1975)

by Michel Foucault

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,636421,418 (4.13)48
In this brilliant work, the most influential philosopher since Sartre suggests that such vaunted reforms as the abolition of torture and the emergence of the modern penitentiary have merely shifted the focus of punishment from the prisoner's body to his soul.
  1. 10
    Mord, Geständnis, Widerruf : Verhören und Verhörtwerden um 1800 by Michael Niehaus (Christof.Capellaro)
    Christof.Capellaro: Stellt an einem konkreten Einzelfall dar, was Foucault im großen Ganzen untersucht. (Wandel der Verfolgung von Delinquenz Ende des 18./Anfang des 19. Jahrhunderts).
  2. 01
    The Fatal Shore by Robert Hughes (thorold)
    thorold: Two contrasting views of the birth of the prison system in the 19th century
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» See also 48 mentions

English (30)  Spanish (3)  French (2)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Italian (1)  Danish (1)  Dutch (1)  Korean (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (42)
Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
This is simply one of the greatest books on philosophy I've ever read. It changed how i view civilization. ( )
  MylesKesten | Jan 23, 2024 |
This book will make you want to live out in the woods.

Its language is very cold and measured - except, of course, for the graphic description of a man's quartering in the beginning - but it systematically begins to make you feel enclosed upon from the outside in. Foucault succeeds in sounding objective, letting only detailed facts and descriptions persuade you of his point. But, to be honest, although this subject is right up my alley, I can see a lot of people not being convinced by the text's problem at the very end. And, to be even more honest, the problem is probably not something we can solve in our lifetime anyway. S0, why read this book? Because you like learning about scary depressing things that you can't change. Enjoy! ( )
  stargazerfish0 | Jan 13, 2024 |
While I do understand this is a five-star, important work of social theory, I've designated it, in my readerly cosmology, as four-star.

Why? Well, like other of Michel Foucault's books I've read, the prose here often veers into opaque technical territory that I, as a non-specialist in continental philosophy, find difficult to decipher. I know that Mr. Foucault used a number of terms of art to stand for broad abstractions. That said, I also found myself wondering, while reading this, if part of its obscurity lies in its translation.

Which started me wondering: is it time for a standard edition of Michel Foucault's books that might better serve what was once called "the common reader"? I understand enough about Mr. Foucault's philosophy and biography that the idea of a standard edition of his works would have been something he resisted, even scorned. Nonetheless, his thought is too important--especially today--to leave it inaccessible to general readers. So, perhaps a lexicon to accompany such an edition, as well as a robust scholarly apparatus, might make this and the rest of Mr. Foucault's works more generally readable, and therefore more generally comprehensible.

That would obviously be a good thing in a world in which the excesses of power and violence he both describes and predicts have indeed come to pass. Maybe, not to put either to fine or too broad a point on it, we might be able to learn something about ourselves as a genus and as a society.
  Mark_Feltskog | Dec 23, 2023 |
4.5 stars ( )
  Marlobo | Dec 24, 2022 |
This was an interesting book, but very dry and over my head at times. There were times I feel like you have to know about French history and French prisons to fully get this book. I think I made mistake reading this book first. I wouldn't recommended it unless you have a strong interest for philosophy, criminology, and/or French history. It's obvious Foucault was channeling Marx, Rousseau, and de Sade in this book (he never talks about de Sade, but it reminded me of de Sade's philosophy). I'm still interested in reading more of Foucault. ( )
  Ghost_Boy | Aug 25, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
Whatever the disagreements, "Discipline and Punish" is that rare kind of book whose methods and conclusions must be reckoned with by humanists, social scientists and political activists.
 

» Add other authors (65 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Michel Foucaultprimary authorall editionscalculated
Blumbergs, IlmārsCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Geile-Sīpolniece, IntaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pelikán, ČestmírTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sheridan, AlanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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In this brilliant work, the most influential philosopher since Sartre suggests that such vaunted reforms as the abolition of torture and the emergence of the modern penitentiary have merely shifted the focus of punishment from the prisoner's body to his soul.

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