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History of Madness

4.33  ·  Rating Details  ·  463 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
When it was first published in France in 1961 as Folie et Deraison: Histoire de la Folie a l'age Classique, few had heard of a thirty-four year old philosopher by the name of Michel Foucault. By the time an abridged English edition was published in 1967 as Madness and Civilization, Michel Foucault had shaken the intellectual world.

This translation is the first English edit
ebook, 776 pages
Published (first published 1961)
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Jan 26, 2010 Andrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I must admit, I didn't read this entire book. However, I do feel I read enough of it to get the general idea. Foucault is trying to distance himself from history here. He dislikes the "victorious" narrative of history and instead seeks to build an anthropology based around one aspect of the human sciences, employing the method of "archaeology." Borrowing Nietzsche's genealogy approach, Foucault excavates various uses of confinement or separation of the "madman" overtime, and looks at shifts and ...more
Aug 06, 2012 Kate rated it really liked it
It took me almost two months to finish this behemoth, but it was worth it. Two months ago, I was reading an article in the New York Times on modern Catholicism that mentioned Foucault, and from there I read a brief overview on Wikipedia. There I found a reference to the History of Madness, Foucault's doctoral thesis, and since I'm interested in insanity, asylums and so forth, I checked this one out of the library.

I'm not going to lie, this is a dense tome. I read it in 5-20 page increments, most
Jul 27, 2015 Ayça rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ansiklopedi niteliğinde bir eser.

Okuduğum süre boyunca Foucault'yu git gide daha çok sevdim resmen.
Kitabı okumadan önce Rousseau'yu, Goya'yı, Nietzche'yi, Sade'ı, Erasmus'u ve daha nicesini biliyor olmalısınız.
Sosyoloji ve psikoloji konusunda temelleriniz varsa kitabı çok daha rahat anlayabilirsiniz. Kitaplığımda geniş bir sıra boyunca psikoloji ve felsefe serilerim olmasına karşın ben okurken zorlandım ve bazı kısımlarda yavaş ilerlemek zorunda kaldım.

Kitap aslında öyle çok şeye değiniyor ki
Derek Frasure
Sep 01, 2011 Derek Frasure rated it really liked it
This book is stylistically similar to the History of Sexuality vols. 2 and 3. It is standard fare Foucault, which is to say that you can expect much ado about entrenched power dynamics in institutions, and how changes to those institutions tend to serve and further power. There is quite a bit of history in here from primary documents that detail the changing perceptions and treatments of madness before modernity. The book looks at these documents and deconstructs them in-depth for much of the bo ...more
Oct 07, 2015 Yasemin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Foucault’un gerçekten sakin ve dinç kafayla okunması gereken bir başka kitabıdır. Zorlayıcı bir metin ama müthiş bir tarih birikimi… Deliliğin henüz tanımlanmadığı, geçmişinden bugüne gelene dek aldığı yol… Tanımlanmamış delilikte, kapatılmadan ziyade, şehirden uzaklaştırılma, hatta deniz açıklarına gemiyle götürülüp bırakılma gibi yöntemler izleniyormuş ilkin. Sonrasında cüzzamlıların yer aldığı hastanelere kapatma çoğaldıkça hapishane ve sonunda ilk “tımarhane” olan Bietre’nin açılması… Tarih ...more
Dustyn Hessie
Jan 28, 2012 Dustyn Hessie rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Scholars, Learners, Psyche Doctors (who need to do something more ethical with their live's)
Foucault is a true dealer of knowledge. I picked this book up out of pure curiosity and my curiosity has been fulfilled.

"History of Madness" is an in-depth look at the transgression of the "treatment" of, what is now called, mental illness. In the Middle Ages madmen were accepted into society. They were free to walk the streets along with the other members of society, idly. If they didn't have well-off families they would become beggars. Their were a lot of beggars back then. The classical time
Maja Shinigami
Oct 06, 2015 Maja Shinigami rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Double cheese pizza.
The Awdude
Sep 17, 2010 The Awdude rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
All 700+ pages of this extraordinary book (the full text of which was first published in English in 2006) are absolutely riveting. And riveting is not a word I would ordinarily use to describe a theory book. Even though most critical theory will usually give me a raging intellectual erection, only Foucault has thus far managed to make said erection both raging and riveting. History of Madness, in my humble opinion, should be required reading for anyone interested not only in the history of Weste ...more
Dan Beauchesne
Nov 20, 2009 Dan Beauchesne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This long and somewhat disjointed journey through the western worlds' experience of madness is, like any work by Foucault, always rewarding the in the end.

Foucault was a gifted writer, here he takes incredibly complex social phenomena, and breaks them down into lucid detail. That's not to say he makes it easy to read-- some pages are so dense and reliant on concepts laid down earlier that it took me a very long time to get through them.

For the layman reader like myself this book does so much m
Abimelech Abimelech
May 18, 2012 Abimelech Abimelech rated it really liked it
i could probably keep this on my currently-reading shelf for a good year or two though truth be told i'm skimming through parts and other parts and the index and the letter to derida so as to relinquish one from those throes of critical theorem bender insomnia and black shoe cream cap falling from the desk when i find myself more bored anymore than amazed as to specific topics glad to have received this book for free some sort of encyclopedic archival trajectory of madness from the middle-ages s ...more
May 19, 2012 Bradley rated it liked it
Got about 300 pages into it...put it back on the floor as a doorstop (permanently it seems) - definitely something very few scholars will ever read cover to cover...unfortunately for me, I am not one of those scholars.

The conversation between Derrida and Foucault is presented here in its entirety...that alone was worth the price of admission! other than that, lots of oblique sentences, that probably do not translate well from French make this a labyrinthine text that probably a few dozen profess
morning Os
May 28, 2008 morning Os rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read the complete version (History of Madness), which was very impressive but long, and required a bit of effort to finish the book. I like his *theory* but, in this book, it was the craft of how he put historical information together to reveal something not obvious yet mind-blowing that inspires me the most. Foucault in the last two chapters discusses how 'madness' was objectified in 19C onwards, and I cannot help but think about the fact that what scholars do, certainly including Foucault, i ...more
Jun 30, 2015 Xitsuka rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I took it as a birthday present for psychoanalysis.
Feb 14, 2008 Tudor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am about half way through, it is somewhat tedious, especially after having just read Madness and Civilization and Mental Illness and Psychology. It is ambiguous in parts and frustrating, but generally I am a huge fan. The still is somewhat different then most philosophy books I have read, and I don't think this book is primarily a philosophic text, but it has implications for the field. If anyone is interested in this topic I would recommend reading the second part of Mental Illness and Psycho ...more
Oct 10, 2013 MiLi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sociedad, historia
La Historia de la Locura son dos tomos muy entretenidos en el que Foucault analiza el rol de los locos en la sociedad desde la aparición de las primeras instituciones hasta nuestros tiempos.

Es un trabajo bien cuidad, prolijo, por momentos se vuelve un poco pesado y oscuro, pero en general está muy bien redactado, con un estilo que ya es típico del autor.

Recomendado para aquellos que quieran aprender sobre la historia del mundo desde los efectos que los cambios provocaron en la sociedad.
Dec 12, 2014 Qasim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
This is an interesting sociological study into the history of confinement of those who expressed behavior which was overtly deviant and/or non-conducive to the functioning of cultural and political institutions throughout European history. Though, not profound in the sense of medical history as such, what I liked most about this book was how he made overt the power relationship between institutions, culture, and individuals.
Apr 04, 2016 Test_user rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, history
If you are interested in the history of confinement, alienation, madness and psychology, this could interest you, although at times the reading itself is maddening. It is not an easy subject to tackle and even though it is a history, be prepared for some very abstract philosophical discussions on "reason and unreason" and "truth and untruth."
Apr 10, 2016 Jules rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, history
If you are interested in the history of confinement, alienation, and madness, this could interest you, although at times the reading itself is maddening. It is not an easy subject to tackle and even though it is a history, be prepared for some very abstract philosophical discussions on "reason and unreason" and "truth and untruth."
Melissa Engberg
Nov 04, 2012 Melissa Engberg rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This is one of my favorites; I'm re-reading it now. F's acumen on our relationship to madness through history is astoundingly clever, of course, and I find something new each time I approach this book.
Oct 29, 2012 Matthew is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Started seriously reading this the other day, the text feels much less alienating than it did back when I tried to start a few months back.
Finally finished History of madness. Hard work, very dense ideas. Finished strong with a great section on madness and the arts.
Jan 17, 2008 Geo marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
ok, so i might not really read this soon, but it's the new translation (all 900 pages) and simply beautiful....
Robert Ballantyne
Along with everything else it shows Foucault at his art historical best.
Sep 11, 2010 Teresa marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
So far enjoying the stylistics the most.
Curt Malkemes
One day I will get to this huge volume
Feb 03, 2015 Cameron marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Bought this in Seattle in October.
Dec 29, 2015 Sarah marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dsu-library, 2016
RC438 .F613
Mar 19, 2013 Jessica marked it as sampled-a-few  ·  review of another edition
Ghadafahadg marked it as to-read
May 05, 2016
Erin Pontius
Erin Pontius marked it as to-read
May 05, 2016
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  • Papers and Journals
  • Writings on Art and Literature (Meridian)
  • Difference and Repetition
Michel Foucault was a French philosopher, social theorist and historian of ideas. He held a chair at the Collège de France with the title "History of Systems of Thought," and lectured at the University at Buffalo and the University of California, Berkeley.

Foucault is best known for his critical studies of social institutions, most notably psychiatry, medicine, the human sciences and the prison sys
More about Michel Foucault...

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“Once leprosy had gone, and the figure of the leper was no more than a distant memory, these structures still remained. The game of exclusion would be played again, often in these same places, in an oddly similar fashion two or three centuries later. The role of the leper was to be played by the poor and by the vagrant, by prisoners and by the 'alienated', and the sort of salvation at stake for both parties in this game of exclusion is the matter of this study.” 18 likes
“Sviluppate la vostra legittima stranezza.” 5 likes
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