Foucault Madness And Civilization Analysis

2465 Words10 Pages
Disaster is often defined as an extreme event that leads to loss of lives, property or damage and which is beyond the coping capacity of the population.
Thus disasters have often been viewed as ‘abnormal’ events that disturb the peace and harmony of ‘normal’ life. But this distinction between what is normal and what is abnormal is not as clear as it seems, quite like the distinction between abnormality and normality of the human mind that Foucault describes in Madness and Civilisation. As by labelling others as mad, we have come to understand who is normal, similarly, it is as if by declaring something as a disaster we have come to understand what normal life means. Also what is termed abnormal depends on the overall conditions of the society
…show more content…
Towards the end of the Middle Ages for example, madness was not considered as a lack of values but as something caused due to a great unreason for which nothing in particular was responsible and that everyone was to some extent complicit in it. Mockery of madness in the fifteenth century turned into dread of death. Madness was considered to a certain extent a vanquished form of death itself. Madmen seemed to be playing with death and disarming it. Where once madness was considered an inability to see death approaching and therefore the need to recall to them the spectacle of death, now wisdom involved teaching men that they were dead already, madness was denounced and the finality of death was considered as the culmination of madness and death itself. Later, madness was also considered as the punishment of ‘disorderly and useless science’. As the ‘truth of knowledge’, it was considered that knowledge had become absurd by substituted experiential learning with idle books and madness showcased that. Also another interpretation of madness was how madness was seen as a manifestation of the weakness, dreams and illusions of man. Thus madness was seen as something within him, something that makes him choose particular illusions. Also it was believed that Madness deals not so much with the truth that is out there but the perception of the truth by the men. In the seventeenth century, it was seen as something that led to idleness and hence it was considered immoral and madmen were confined along with beggars and unemployed people. Towards the end of the eighteenth century, madness was seen as a form of animality in the human, something that became a thing to ogle and ridicule or laugh at. It was not considered as something that is part of everyone but something that was a deviance that made someone less human and more a specimen. Later madness was considered together with passion and passion

More about Foucault Madness And Civilization Analysis

Open Document