Michel Foucault Quotes

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.
Michel Foucault (1926-1984), French essayist, philosopher. Conclusion, Madness and Civilization (1961, trans. 1965).
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 atwinkle with stars, an illuminated sleep, nor a drowsy vigil. It is the very edge of consciousness.
Michel Foucault (1926-1984), French essayist, philosopher. Death and the Labyrinth: The World of Raymond Roussel, ch. 3 (1963, trans. 1986).
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.
Michel Foucault (1926-1984), French philosopher. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison, pt. 4, ch. 3 (1975).
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.
Michel Foucault (1926-1984), French philosopher. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison, pt. 4, ch. 3 (1975).
In its function, the power to punish is not essentially different from that of curing or educating.
Michel Foucault (1926-1984), French philosopher. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison, pt. 4, ch. 3 (1975).
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.
Michel Foucault (1926-1984), French philosopher. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison, pt. 4, ch. 3 (1975).
The strategic adversary is fascism ... the fascism in us all, in our heads and in our everyday behavior, the fascism that causes us to love power, to desire the very thing that dominates and exploits us.
Michel Foucault (1926-1984), French philosopher. Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, Anti-Oedipus, preface (1972).
The practice of S/M is the creation of pleasure.... And that's why S/M is really a subculture. It's a process of invention. S/M is the use of a strategic relationship as a source of pleasure.
Michel Foucault (1926-1984), French philosopher. repr. In Michel Foucault, by Didier Eribon (1989, trans. 1991). interview, Oct. 1982, "Sex, Power and the Politics of Identity," published in Advocate (Aug. 7, 1984).
Freedom of conscience entails more dangers than authority and despotism.
Michel Foucault (1926-1984), French philosopher. Madness and Civilization, ch. 7 (1965).
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.
Michel Foucault (1926-1984), French essayist, philosopher. "The Birth of the Asylum," Madness and Civilization (1961, trans. 1965).