Foucault, Abnormal, p. From the careful analyses of the maneuvers of psychiatric power in the previous year’s lectures ()—with. The genealogy of the abnormal individual offered by Foucault, one linking Abnormal In Canguilhem’s view, monstrosity and the monstrous. Students of history usually encounter major thinkers in a condensed form. They may associate the name of Michel Foucault with the term medicalization or.

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The discovery of instinct, an uncontrollable, involuntary and spontaneous natural impulse te these early psychiatrists to explain the motiveless crime, one that could not be explained by appealing to the logic of delirium typically used by alienists.

Foucault 5/13: Introducing *Abnormal* (1974-1975)

But it’s also possible that she was raped. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. Pantheon, Students of history usually encounter major thinkers in a condensed form. Also this time brings the theme that masturbation can cause serious illness and is also behind the worst kinds of monstrous behavior. An Introduction, Volume 1, trans. Instinct is now used to explain sexual tendencies, an unbounded realm of pleasure, that can easily “escape the heterosexual and exogamous norm.

Michel Foucault: Abnormal, Chapter Three Summary | Theory and Play

Its title is somewhat emblematic in that regard. Surprisingly, eighteenth-century physiognomy makes no appearance, to pick only one of many omissions. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. Abnormal does make a compelling case that practices of confinement, medico-legal judgment, and sexual normalization have been constituted within struggles for scientific power and control that are not self-evidently progressive, but it also reminds us at points of the need for a genealogy of the genealogist.

Marie Lemarcis and Anne Grandjean. Between andFoucault’s public courses evolved in foicault series of interconnected themes: Archived Entry Post Date: It is fair to say that Foucault’s own expertise varies greatly within the expansive reach of this argument.

And this failure to address her fate, coupled with his suspicion that Sophie was in some sense not even rapeable, undermines the critical effect of his own discourse on abnormality.


Course by course, tapes tne Foucault’s lectures are currently being edited and translated into English, complete with markers of oral delivery.

To appeal to present concerns about Sophie’s choices, about the effect on her sexual and personal development of exchanging sexual caresses for money, even being raped, would be to beg one of the questions Foucault is raising. Jouy is legally charged then examined by several psychiatric experts foucajlt not only conduct a psychiatric examination, but also measure his anatomy for signs of degenerescence.

Furthermore, situated as they are between the publication of Discipline and Punish February abnogmals History of Sexuality, Volume 1 Octoberthe lectures deepen our appreciation of the books insofar as they contain more developed analyses of some of their central themes. Reviewed by Helmut Puff. Arnold Davidson is the general editor of the series of English translations.

You can leave a responseor trackback from your own site. As do other volumes in this series, the book contains Foucault’s own course synthesis, an expert introduction by Arnold Davidson, a competent afterword by the editors, and an excellent index. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here There was a denunciation, and he was forced to come before the courts and be examined by a ths, an apothecary, and two surgeons.

Perhaps it also resides in a lack of critical reflection on the historical conditions in which such forms of authority arose. Anyway, Foucaulh very decently gives four sous to the little girl who immediately runs to the fair to buy some roasted almonds. Jouy is the victim in his story. This individual occurs very clearly in the 18th c. fouczult

Foucault is in effect historicizing our present practice of being preoccupied with the psycho-sexual development of children. Your email address will not be published. Yet Foucault doesn’t feel compelled to address Sophie’s fate at all. Thus Foucault reiterates the claim made in Discipline and Punish that penal psychiatry is situated within a rule-governed network of power and knowledge–a historical context characterized by the spread of disciplinary and normalizing techniques.

In Abnormal Foucault traces two genealogical lines of descent that culminate in the figure of the abnormal individual–a history of psychiatry and of its increasingly powerful role in medico-legal judgment; and a history of sexuality from the emergence of Christian confessional practices to the nineteenth-century crusades against masturbation in children. Were these sexual exchanges really inconsequential, petty, let alone pleasurable for the young girl in the story?


Is it possible that with more feminist sensitivity he would have been more inclined to say what I wish he had said either, “It’s not entirely clear,” or nothing at all about the banality of moment before Jouy is rendered pathological?

Occasionally, its readability comes at the expense of philological rigour. Foucault tells the story of two siamese twins, one of whom committed a crime. After all, the point of genealogy is not to endorse the past, but to interrogate the present.

Book Review

Jouy’s deformed anatomy signifies a permanently deformed sexual instinct. Foucault concludes his lectures with an expanded discussion of the case of the proto-sex offender Charles Jouy, a case that he also discusses in History of Sexuality, Volume 1.

It set a fundamental anxiety into motion that revolved around the sexuality of children, a danger so persistent and elusive that it has stayed with us ever since. In this sense, the hermaphrodite is also a monster.

Support Center Support Center. Foucault’s own tendency to dismiss the incidents as “inconsequential” coupled with his repeated suggestions that perhaps Jouy was the victim of Sophie, that her previous sexual liaisons with adolescent boys on the edge of the fields, and that the fact that she appeared not to mind after all, she didn’t tell anyone about the alleged rape might explain–even justify–the incident smacks of masculinist incredulity about the seriousness and reality of rape.

Anne Grandjean was baptized as a girl, but on her 14th birthday began to desire other women. In the 17th c.