Michel Foucault FRANK McCONNELL - Essay


(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

In Discipline and Punish [Foucault] is back asserting some by now familiar Foucaultisms. "Man" as an individualistic, psychological entity is an invention, and not a very good one, of the last two hundred years ("A meticulous observation of detail … a political awareness of these small things, for the control of men…. From such trifles, no doubt, the man of modern humanism is born"). Institutions, for all their rationalism, create what they pretend to perceive ("We must cease … to describe the effects of power in negative terms…. Power produces … domains of objects and rituals of truth"). And, most centrally, the modern, ritualized institutions of order are hazardous to your health ("At the heart of...

(The entire section is 975 words.)