Madness and Civilization, Paperback
4.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


In this classic account of madness, Michel Foucault shows once and for all why he is one of the most distinguished European philosophers since the end of World War II.

Madness and Civilization, Foucault's first book and his finest accomplishment, will change the way in which you think about society.

Evoking shock, pity and fascination, it might also make you question the way you think about yourself.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 304 pages, black & white illustrations
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Western philosophy, from c 1900 -
  • ISBN: 9780415253857



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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

Foucault is an brilliant Historian who charts the progress or lack of it of the treatment of the mentally ill. Read to be disturbed at how they were treated.

Review by

Four stars, I guess? I don't really know how to review something like this. There were several sections, including the conclusion, that I didn't feel I understood at all. And Foucault continues to frustrate me in the way that he seems deliberately obscure: while I certainly wouldn't say that he is dealing in simple concepts, they seem like they don't need to be as difficult as he is making them. But for all of its faults and quirks, this was a totally rewarding book. The idea that psychoanalysis deals not with the eternal structure of the human mind but rather with a set of complexes developing within the last few centuries of Western history was particularly fascinating to me. A brilliant book: maybe someday I'll actually read the entire History of Madness, but I doubt that it will be anytime soon!

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