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Madness & Civilization: A History of…
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Madness & Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason (edition 1973)

by Michel Foucault

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2,911213,707 (3.83)37
In this classic account of madness, Michel Foucault shows once and for all why he is one of the most distinguished European philosophers since the end of World War II. Madness and Civilization, Foucault's first book and his finest accomplishment, will change the way in which you think about society. Evoking shock, pity, and fascination, it might also make you question the way you think about yourself.… (more)
Member:Berkeley_Library
Title:Madness & Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason
Authors:Michel Foucault
Info:Vintage (1973), Mass Market Paperback, 312 pages
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Madness and Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason by Michel Foucault

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Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
A fascinating study of the history and development of contemporary thought on mental illness. Some points are a little dated (it was published in 1964) but the crossovers between culture, belief and the way that we view mental illness was and is groundbreaking. Very accessible through most of the book. As a study on societal and perspectives this is an outstanding work. ( )
  ephemeral_future | Aug 20, 2020 |
Honestly? I skimmed a lot of this. I struggle with the fact that something purporting to be a 'history' has so few references, but I also acknowledge that Foucault's interest is less in facts than it is in ideas. All that said, this book is definitely weaker than his later works. I was most interested in the distinction he makes between "shutting up" and "confining" and his discussion of how physical restraint of the mentally ill gave way to moral/self-restraint.
  Tara_Calaby | Jun 22, 2020 |
I'm reading Foucault without any other guidance than his bibliographic chronology so of course this means I'm completely missing out on a lot of his subtle points and inferences. I still found this book interesting and articulate. The larger idea of madness being increasingly put under the microscope of rationality only to reveal, chillingly, that it was rational man's obsessive search for his own image being sought in the madness is a mind blower. Although abstruse, Foucault has such a knack for grounding complicated, subtle arguments into examples that even though I'm sure I missed a great deal that this work has to offer I came away with enough to encourage me to keep reading his books... so I will. ( )
  Adrian_Astur_Alvarez | Dec 3, 2019 |
I'm reading Foucault without any other guidance than his bibliographic chronology so of course this means I'm completely missing out on a lot of his subtle points and inferences. I still found this book interesting and articulate. The larger idea of madness being increasingly put under the microscope of rationality only to reveal, chillingly, that it was rational man's obsessive search for his own image being sought in the madness is a mind blower. Although abstruse, Foucault has such a knack for grounding complicated, subtle arguments into examples that even though I'm sure I missed a great deal that this work has to offer I came away with enough to encourage me to keep reading his books... so I will. ( )
  Adrian_Astur_Alvarez | Dec 3, 2019 |
I was expecting more of a case history/solid changes or advancements in diagnosis and treatment, that was not to be here. This book seems to be more of a pompous philosophical/societal review of madness and the judgement of such with a few scientific/history based things sprinkled throughout. The author seemed to be fond of using 3 words when 1 would do and rewording ideas multiple times. ( )
  Bricker | May 1, 2019 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Michel Foucaultprimary authorall editionscalculated
Barchilon, JoseIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Howard, RichardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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This edition of "Folie et déraison: Histoire de la folie à l'âge classique", translated into English as "Madness and Civilization" is ABRIDGED. Please do NOT combine with the COMPLETE English edition, published as "History of Madness".
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In this classic account of madness, Michel Foucault shows once and for all why he is one of the most distinguished European philosophers since the end of World War II. Madness and Civilization, Foucault's first book and his finest accomplishment, will change the way in which you think about society. Evoking shock, pity, and fascination, it might also make you question the way you think about yourself.

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