By Michel Foucault
From 1971 till his demise in 1984, Foucault gave public lectures on the world-famous university de France. Attended via millions, those have been seminal occasions on this planet of French letters. Picador is proud to be publishing the lectures in 13 volumes.
The lectures comprising Abnormal commence by way of interpreting the position of psychiatry in sleek felony justice, and its approach to categorizing people who "resemble their crime ahead of they dedicate it." construction at the topics of societal self-defense in "Society needs to be Defended," Foucault indicates how and why defining "abnormality" and "normality" have been preorogatives of strength within the 19th century.
the varsity de France lectures upload immeasurably to our appreciation of Foucault's paintings and provide a distinct window into his thinking.
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Additional info for Abnormal: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1974-1975
I do not think it should be considered a pure and simp1e insult to recognize the grotesque and to pose the problem of the existence and function of the grotesque in these texts. At its extreme point, where it accords itself the right to kill, justice has installed a discourse that is Ubu's discourse; it gives voice to Ubu science. To express things more solemnly, let us say that the West, which, no doubt since Greek society, since the Greek city-state, has not ceased to dream of giving power to the discourse of truth in a just city, has ended up in its system of justice conferring unrestrained power on the parody, on the parody that is recognized as such, of scientific discourse.
Now how does expert psychiatric opinion proceed with respect to the letter of the law that says: "Only breaches of the law defined as such by the law can be punished" ? What type of objects does it bring to light ? What type of objects does it present to the judge for his judicial intervention and as the target of punishment ? If we go back to the words, what objects does expert psychiatric opinion reveal and attach to the offense as its double ? I have taken a short series of expert opinions that all date from the years 1955-197 4, hut I could cite other texts.
Well, it is due to the status of the subject who presents the evidence. In the present system of French justice, police reports or the testimony of police officers, for example, have a kind of privilege vis-a-vis any other report or testimony because they are statements made by a 8 Ja n u a ry 1 9 7 5 11 -in functionary of the police. On the other hand, experts' re ports-inasmuch as their expert status confers a scientific value or rather a scientific status on those who pronounce them-have a certain priv ilege vis-a-vis any other element of judicial proof.
Abnormal: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1974-1975 by Michel Foucault