Abnormal: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1974-1975 by Michel Foucault

By Michel Foucault

Michel Foucault continues to be one of the towering highbrow figures of postmodern philosophy. His works on sexuality, insanity, the criminal, and medication are classics; his instance keeps to problem and encourage. From 1971 until eventually his dying in 1984, Foucault gave public lectures on the world-famous Collge de France. those lectures have been seminal occasions. Attended by way of millions, they created benchmarks for modern severe inquiry. The lectures comprising irregular commence through reading the position of psychiatry in glossy legal justice, and its approach to categorizing people who 'resemble their crime ahead of they devote it.' construction at the issues of societal self-defense within the first quantity of this sequence, Foucault indicates how and why defining 'abnormality' and 'normality' have been prerogatives of energy within the 19th century, shaping the institutions-from the felony process to the family-meant to deal specifically with 'monstrosity,' no matter if sexual, phsyical, or religious. The Collge de France lectures upload immeasurably to our appreciation of Foucault's suggestion, and supply a special window on his singular worldview.

"These lectures supply very important insights into the evolution of the first concentration of Foucault's later work--the dating among strength and knowledge."
--Library magazine

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Extra resources for Abnormal: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1974-1975

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1952), pp. 207-26; R. Merle and A. Vitu, Traite de droit criminel, 6th edition, vol. 1. , 1984), pp. 759-66 (the irst edition was published in 1967). 30. This is the case of Georges Rapin. Cf. infra, the lecture of 5 February. 31. Moi, Pierre Riviere, ayant egorge ma mere, ma soeur et mon frere... , 1973). , /, Pierre Riviere, Having Slaughtered My Mother, My Sister, and My Brother.... , 1975). " See the report at the end of the course summary cited above: Dits et ecrits, 1954-1988, vol. 2: 7970-7975, p.

In principle, extenuating circumstances should never be used to register the uncertainty of the jury; if there is any uncertainty, the jury must purely and simply acquit. In fact, behind the principle of profound conviction you have, therefore, a practice that continues to modulate the penalty according to the uncertainty of proof, exactly as in the old system of legal proofs. Another practice also leads to distortion of the principle of profound conviction and to the reconstitution of something like legal proof, or at least that in some respects resembles the way in which justice functioned in the eighteenth century.

Presumption, the degree of presumption, was thus registered in the severity of the penalty. In the Goldman case,18 which took place some weeks ago, if the scandal exploded at the very heart of the judicial institution, if the public prosecutor was astonished by the jury s verdict, which carried ' ' 10 ABNORMAL the penalty he had himself demanded, at bottom it was because the jury did not adopt the practice, which is absolutely against the law, of resorting to extenuating circumstances when one is not quite sure of guilt.

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