History of Madness

History of Madness

History of Madness

Hardback
Published: 27 April, 2006
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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 edition of the complete French texts of the first and second edition, including all prefaces and appendices, some of them unavailable in the existing French edition.

History of Madness begins in the Middle Ages with vivid descriptions of the exclusion and confinement of lepers. Why, Foucault asks, when the leper houses were emptied at the end of the Middle Ages, were they turned into places of confinement for the mad? Why, within the space of several months in 1656, was one out of every hundred people in Paris confined?

Shifting brilliantly from Descartes and early Enlightenment thought to the founding of the Hopital General in Paris and the work of early psychiatrists Philippe Pinel and Samuel Tuke, Foucault focuses throughout, not only on scientific and medical analyses of madness, but also on the philosophical and cultural values attached to the mad. He also urges us to recognize the creative and liberating forces that madness represents, brilliantly drawing on examples from Goya, Nietzsche, Van Gogh and Artaud.

The History of Madness is an inspiring and classic work that challenges us to understand madness, reason and power and the forces that shape them.

'One of the major works of the twentieth century is finally available in English. This comprehensive translation finally overcomes one of the great divisions within the world of reason; an occasion to revisit Madness and Civilization as it was written.' - Paul Rabinow, University of California, Berkeley, USA

'Now, at last, English speaking readers can have access to the depth of scholarship that underpins Foucault's analysis: I have no doubt that this long awaited translation will have a transformative effect on a new generation of readers.' - Nikolas Rose, London School of Economics, UK

'...we are in the presence of a principal thesis that is truly original, by a man whose personality, whose intellectual "dynamism", whose talent for exposition all qualify him for high education' - Henri Gouhier, Principal Examiner of Foucault's Thesis

' ... it returns a fragment of 'nature' to history and transforms madness, something we take to be a medieval phenomenon, into a phenomenon of civilization.' - Roland Barthes

'Without a shadow of a doubt, the most original, influential and controversial text in this field during the last forty years. It remains as challenging now as on first publication. Its insights have still not been fully appreciated and absorbed.' - Roy Porter

'This is quite an exceptional book of very high calibre - brilliantly written, intellectually rigorous, and with a thesis that thoroughly shakes the assumptions of traditional psychiatry.' - R.D. Laing

'Extraordinary...rich and insistent, and almost unreasonable in its necessary repetitions.' - Maurice Blanchot

'This magnificent book...requires a mind that is capable of being in turn a historian, a philosopher, a psychologist, and a sociologist-never simply one of these...This is not a method that could be offered as an example; it is not within the reach of just anybody. Something more than talent is necessary.' - Fernand Braudel, Annales

'I have just finished reading your great book...You are a real explorer.' - Gaston Bachelard, in a letter to Michel Foucault

'Scarcely any philosopher working on the history of philosophy, or historian working on the history of institutions, social science or sexuality can avoid confronting the challenge of Foucault's books.' - Michael Ignatieff, Times Literary Supplement

"Foucault's intellect stretched the boundaries of traditional thinking and, therefore, the History of Madness will be of interest to anyone who is intellectually curious." -- Mark Raymond Brown, University of Ottawa, De Philosophia


'Scarcely any philosopher working on the history of philosophy, or historian working on the history of institutions, social science or sexuality can avoid confronting the challenge of Foucault's books.' - Michael Ignatieff, Times Literary Supplement

'Without a shadow of a doubt, the most original, influential and controversial text in this field during the last forty years. It remains as challenging now as on first publication. Its insights have still not been fully appreciated and absorbed.' - Roy Porter

'Extraordinary ... rich and insistent, and almost unreasonable in its necessary repetitions.' - Maurice Blanchot

Michel Foucault (1926-84). Celebrated French thinker and activist who challenged people's assumptions about care of the mentally ill, gay rights, prisons, the police and welfare. Jean Khalfa is a lecturer in French at Cambridge University, UK. Jonathan Murphy is an experienced translator, editor and lecturer.

Type Book
ISBN 9780415277013
Number Of Pages 768
Item Weight 1600 g
Publisher Taylor & Francis Ltd
Format Hardback