Dustyn Hessie's Reviews > History of Madness

History of Madness by Michel Foucault
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Jan 28, 12

bookshelves: brilliant, nonfiction, profound, psyche, translations, big-books, frenchphilosophy, philosophy
Recommended for: Scholars, Learners, Psyche Doctors (who need to do something more ethical with their live's)
Read from November 05 to 11, 2011 — I own a copy

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 times, however, would not tolerate such idleness. So, they confined the madmen along with all beggars, vagabonds, criminals, and basically all people who the government thought were threats to the working society. (This happened throughout the Western world.)

Foucault hones in aspects of mental illness like: reason-unreason, natural-unnatural, fear and confinement, doctor and patient, and the this "objective" outlook psyche doctors like to propose, etc. A large part of his argument is that, "mental illness" is a ploy for coercion.

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