Abnormal: Lectures at the Collège de France 1974-1975

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Verso, 2003 - Abnormalities, Human - 374 pages
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Michel Foucault remains one of the towering intellectual figures of the last half-century. His works on sexuality, madness, the prison, and medicine are classics; his example continues to challenge and inspire. From 1971 until his death in 1984, Foucault gave public lectures at the world-famous Coll.ge de France. These lectures were seminal events. Attended by thousands, they created benchmarks for contemporary social enquiry. The lectures comprising Abnormal begin by examining the role of psychiatry in modern criminal justice, and its method of categorizing individuals who .resemble their crime before they commit it.. Building on the themes of societal self-defense developed in earlier works, Foucault shows how and why defining .abnormality. and .normality. were prerogatives of power in the nineteenth century, shaping the institutions.from the prison system to the family.meant to deal in particular with .monstrosity., whether sexual, physical, or spiritual. The Coll.ge de France lectures add immeasurably to our appreciation of Foucault.s thought and offer a unique window into his thinking.
 

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Contents

JANUARY 1975
1
JANUARY 1975
31
JANUARY 1975
55
JANUARY 1975
81
FEBRUARY 1975
109
FEBRUARY 1975
137
FEBRUARY 1975
167
FEBRUARY 1975
201
MARCH 1975
231
MARCH 1975
263
MARCH 1975
291
Course Summary
323
Index of Notions and Concepts
357
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About the author (2003)

Michel Foucault was born on October 15, 1926, in Poitiers, France, and was educated at the Sorbonne, in Paris. He taught at colleges all across Europe, including the Universities of Lill, Uppsala, Hamburg, and Warsaw, before returning to France. There he taught at the University of Paris and the College of France, where he served as the chairman of History of Systems of Thought until his death. Regarded as one of the great French thinkers of the twentieth century, Foucault's interest was in the human sciences, areas such as psychiatry, language, literature, and intellectual history. He made significant contributions not just to the fields themselves, but to the way these areas are studied, and is particularly known for his work on the development of twentieth-century attitudes toward knowledge, sexuality, illness, and madness. Foucault's initial study of these subjects used an archaeological method, which involved sifting through seemingly unrelated scholarly minutia of a certain time period in order to reconstruct, analyze, and classify the age according to the types of knowledge that were possible during that time. This approach was used in Madness and Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason, for which Foucault received a medal from France's Center of Scientific Research in 1961, The Birth of the Clinic, The Order of Things, and The Archaeology of Knowledge. Foucault also wrote Discipline and Punishment: The Birth of the Prison, a study of the ways that society's views of crime and punishment have developed, and The History of Sexuality, which was intended to be a six-volume series. Before he could begin the final two volumes, however, Foucault died of a neurological disorder in 1984.

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