Michel Foucault Quotes

michel foucault quotesFreedom of conscience entails more dangers than authority and despotism.

Life itself was only futility, vain words, a squabble of cap and bells.

In its function, the power to punish is not essentially different from that of curing or educating.

Madness is the absolute break with the work of art; it forms the constitutive moment of abolition, which dissolves in time the truth of the work of art.

Truth does not belong to the order of power, but shares an original affinity with freedom.

Prison continues, on those who are entrusted to it, a work begun elsewhere, which the whole of society pursues on each individual through innumerable mechanisms of discipline.” 

The soul is the prison of the body.

The lyricism of marginality may find inspiration in the image of the "'outlaw"' the great social nomad, who prowls on the confines of a docile, frightened order.

What is constitutive is the action that divides madness, and not the science elaborated once this division is made.

I don't feel that it is necessary to know exactly what I am. The main interest in life and work is to become someone else that you were not in the beginning

There are more ideas on earth than intellectuals imagine. And these ideas are more active, stronger, more resistant, more passionate than "politicians" think.

What is constitutive is the action that divides madness, and not the science elaborated once this division is made.

Chance does not speak essentially through words nor can it be seen in their convolution. It is the eruption of language, its sudden appearance. It's not a night twinkle with stars, an illuminated sleep, nor a drowsy vigil. It is the very edge of consciousness.

We must not understand it [madness] as reason diseased, or as reason lost or alienated, but quite simply as reason dazzled.

Power is not an institution, and not a structure; neither is it a certain strength we are endowed with; it is the name that one attributes to a complex strategical situation in a particular society.

The judges of normality are present everywhere. We are in the society of the teacher-judge, the doctor-judge, the educator-judge, the social worker-judge.

What strikes me is the fact that in our society, art has become something which is only related to objects, and not to individuals, or to life.

What desire can be contrary to nature, since it was given to man by nature itself?

The dream deceives; it leads to confusions; it is illusory. But it is not erroneous.

If repression has indeed been the fundamental link between power, knowledge, and sexuality since the classical age, it stands to reason that we will not be able to free ourselves from it except at a considerable cost.

Nature, keeping only useless secrets, had placed within reach and in sight of human beings the things it was necessary for them to know.

Death left its old tragic heaven and became the lyrical core of man: his invisible truth, his visible secret.

Psychoanalysis can unravel some of the forms of madness; it remains a stranger to the sovereign enterprise of unreason. It can neither limit nor transcribe, nor most certainly explain, what is essential in this enterprise.

Since the Fall, man had accepted labor as a penance and for its power to work redemption. It was not a law of nature which forced man to work, but the effect of a curse.

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