Publisher description for Abnormal : lectures at the CollŠege de France, 1974-1975 / Michel Foucault ; edited by Valerio Marchetti and Antonella Salomoni ; English series editor, Arnold I. Davidson ; translated by Graham Burchell.


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The second volume in an unprecedented publishing event: the complete College de France lectures of one of the most influential thinkers of the last century

Michel Foucault remains among the towering intellectual figures of postmodern philosophy. His works on sexuality, madness, the prison, and medicine are classics his example continues to challenge and inspire. From 1971 until his death in 1984, Foucault gave public lectures at the world-famous College de France. These lectures were seminal events. Attended by thousands, they created benchmarks for contemporary critical inquiry.

The lectures comprising Abnormal begin by examining the role of psychiatry in modern criminal justice, and its method of categorizing individuals who "resemble their crime before they commit it." Building on the themes of societal self-defense in the first volume of this series, Foucault shows how and why defining "abnormality" and "normality" were prerogatives of power in the nineteenth century, shaping the institutions--from the prison system to the family--meant to deal in particular with “monstrosity,” whether sexual, phsyical, or spiritual.

The College de France lectures add immeasurably to our appreciation of Foucault's thought, and offer a unique window on his singular worldview.


Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: Abnormalities, Human Social aspects History, Philosophical anthropology History, Power (Social sciences) History