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Madness and Civilization

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Madness and Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason (French: Folie et Déraison: Histoire de la folie à l'âge classique) is a 1961 book by the French philosopher Michel Foucault. The book was first translated into English - in an abridged edition - in 1964. A new English translation of the complete 1961 edition, titled History of Madness, was published in June 2006.Foucault's first major book, Madness and Civilization is an examination of the evolving meaning of madness in European culture, law, politics, philosophy and medicine from the Middle Ages to the end of the eighteenth century, and a critique of historical method and the idea of history. It marks a turning in Foucault's thought away from phenomenology toward structuralism: though he uses the language of phenomenology to describe an evolving experience of the mad as "the other", he attributes this evolution to the influence of specific powerful social structures.
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original title: Folie et déraison, Histoire de la folie à l'âge classique
subtitle: Histoire de la folie à l’âge classique
language: French
date of publication: 1961 or 1964
genre: essay
main subject: insanity
followed by: The Birth of the Clinic

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