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Psychiatric Power: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1973-1974

(Cours au Collège de France/Lectures at the Collège de France #3)

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4.23  ·  Rating details ·  328 ratings  ·  15 reviews
In Psychiatric Power, the fourth volume in the collection of his groundbreaking lectures at the Collège de France, Michel Foucault addresses and expands upon the ideas in his seminal Madness and Civilization, sketching the genealogy of psychiatry and of its characteristic form of power/knowledge. Madness and Civilization undertook the archeology of the division according ...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published June 24th 2008 by Picador (first published 2003)
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Elsie
Oct 06, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hooray for humble philosophy.
Elari
So I managed to finish my twenty-page summary exactly five minutes before midnight. Here's the paper's conclusion as a review.

Le pouvoir psychiatrique de Michel Foucault se distingue par son analyse de la psychiatrie qui franchit les frontières de l’institution. Le cours retrace l’évolution du pouvoir psychiatrique sous sa forme diffuse et intrusive, né de rituels religieux, mûri dans le capitalisme, parasitant le noyau familial, pour s’abriter finalement entre les murs de l’asile. L’éloquence
...more
Steven Van Neste
There is a power to Focault's lectures which is not there (at least not as much) in his normal publications. Although at first "Psychiatric Power" might seem as a revisitation of "History Of Madness", it is far from. The actual idea of psychiatry is second to games of power and as such many of the ideas in these lectures are much closer to "discipline and punish".
The main thesis is that first appearance of psychiatry was not as much a science of the mind and of curing the mentally ill, much
...more
Yulia Pomarina
Apr 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is a best book of 1st half of 2013 year in my rating!

It is very hard to read, as if you must try to go through jungle and you must cut the wreathed lianas with your machete to move further in one else step. But as you let yourself take the height of this great philosopher's mind you are almost swept over with the freshness and humanism of the book on such a hard topic. What is normality and HOW doctors of medicine turned into people who is powerable to label it? That is the point.
xDEAD ENDx
Sep 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This course really sets the stage for Foucault's later works and ideas. We find the panopticon, power/knowledge, Truth, a medicine of sexuality, and the early formations of the dispositif.

One of the topics in particular I found interesting is the relationships Foucault points out between the Family and psychiatry and the transition from sovereign power to disciplinary power.
Nitanews
Jul 08, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great discussion of sovereign and disciplinary powers here. Also some good stuff on the historial discourses of truth. There are some gems you won't find in Madness and Civilization.
Chris Estey
Jul 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
But it's not like people abuse it, right? Man, I hope that psychologist who assisted the Army in torturing the detainees burns in fucking hell.
Scott Neigh
Reviewed here.
Stephen Antczak
Interesting ideas about the origins of psychiatry and the "disciplinary" society of the modern world's prisons, schools, asylums, and factories/workplaces. Difficult to read, hard to understand.
Pascal
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Too bad no one reads this excellent book on psychiatric power. Love it so much.
8314
Aug 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychoanalysis
Foucault was slow on spotting the internal aspects of human during his lecture in 1981-1984 (the whole sequence of Government of the Living, Hermeneutics of the Subjects, Government of Self and Others, The Courage of Truth). It turned out that he wasn't very sharp on this matter back in 1974 either, when he talked about psychiatry, which was a subject that specialized on taming the internal world. I don't know how others would respond to this. I found it to be ironic.
Foucault treated this notion
...more
David Slay
Jul 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A remarkably insightful and provocative course which should be more widely dispersed across those disciplines it involves so intimately.

That said, it is without a doubt foundational to and anticipatory of the following:

"In the 1990s, anthropologists and philosophers of science unravelled the intricate history of traumatic memory and post-traumatic stress syndrome... In the process they have taught us that mental illness, like many other complex scientific facts, are invented and real at the
...more
Melissa Engberg
Nov 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book expands of the practice of psychiatry as it is discussed in Birth of the Clinic, Madness and Civilization, and History of Madness. Like all of his lectures, the language is pretty accessible, sometimes in contrast to his aforementioned monographs. He draws some interesting conclusions about the relationship between sexuality and the patient/analyst dynamic that I haven't quite decided what to think of.
Tara
Apr 23, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: more
I like Foucault's lectures better than his writings. This is the fourth of his lectures that I have read. I was waiting for it to come out in paper back. I think this work is better than Madness and Civilization. Foucault explains the role of psychiatry in the 18th century transition from sovereign power to disciplinary power of the 19th century.
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Great book here! 1 7 Oct 04, 2008 11:32AM  

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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," but before he was Professor at University of Tunis, Tunisia, and then Professor at University Paris VIII. He lectured at several different Universities over the world as at the University at Buffalo, the University of California, ...more

Other books in the series

Cours au Collège de France/Lectures at the Collège de France (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • Lectures on the Will to Know: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1970-1971, & Oedipal Knowledge
  • The Punitive Society: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1972-1973
  • Abnormal: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1974-1975
  • Society Must Be Defended: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1975-1976
  • Security, Territory, Population: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1977-1978
  • The Birth of Biopolitics: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1978-1979
  • On the Government of the Living: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1979-1980
  • Subjectivité et vérité. Cours au Collège de France, 1980-1981
  • The Hermeneutics of the Subject: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1981-82
  • The Government of Self and Others: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1982–1983