Gary Gutting

in Foucault: A Very Short Introduction

Second edition

Published in print September 2019 | ISBN: 9780198830788
Published online September 2019 | e-ISBN: 9780191868849 | DOI:

Series: Very Short Introductions


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Foucault felt outrage towards a perception of madness that admits no meaningful alternatives to standards of normality, one which rejects any beliefs or behaviours that deviate from these standards. ‘Madness’ examines Foucault’s ideas about insanity and how madness has come to be perceived by culture. Madness, stated Foucault, suffers from both a conceptual exclusion and a physical exclusion and this reflects a moral condemnation. His History of Madnesssustains this argument. The moral fault occurs because madness corresponds to a radical choice to reject humanity and the human community in favour of animality. Despite the voice of madness being silenced, Foucault was particularly fascinated by the idea that probing the limits of reason will reveal truths.

Keywords: Theodor Adorno; Georges Canguilhem; Dialectic of Enlightenment; Michel Foucault; psychiatry; Samuel Tuke

Chapter.  3220 words. 

Subjects: Social and Political Philosophy ; 20th-Century Philosophy

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