foucault (was Re: ART: Creativity)

J. de Lyser (
Sat, 01 Mar 1997 06:46:08 +0100

At 14:40 1-03-97 +1000, Damien wrote:
>At 03:06 AM 3/1/97 +0100, Joost de Lyser wrote:

>>'Foucaults histories of madness set out to demonstrate that madness was a
>>social desease, whose nature changed in different periods, but which always
>>reflected the need for society to find outsiders to punish and imprison, in
>>order that the prison of the social order should seem like freedom.'

>For Foucault to be in error is not unprecedented.

>'Major incarceration of the insane did not occur between 1650-1789 but
1815-1914, making it `a product not of the era of the Enlightenment
philosophes but rather of the democratic era'

>Nor are these discrepancies trivial; their false data are what supports
>Foucault's major `archaeological' and `genealogical' claims concerning the
>purely social construction of subjectivity, and its abrupt discontinuities
>across time.

I agree with that there are cases where madness can be led back to medical
arguments. (in the case later caused damage, not of genetical arguments
against people who are fully 'functional' otherwise)

I agree with that foucaults definitions of madness can't be explained from
a purely social point of view, allthough i'd put the blame on nation states
rather than just democracies seen the examples that occurred after 1914 in
non-democratic states.

I also agree that for examples involving homosexuals long after 1914, other
arguments can be found than purely social ones.

I just hope those arguments will not be used to limit individual freedom.

A) Homosexuality, and other behaviour that is or was once considered a
'deviation' can be led back 'somewhat' to genetical influence.

B) Criminal behaviour can also.

I'd like to think that the second we are born into this world, we become an
individual, influencing the effect that code will have on us, whatever our
genetical 'deviations' may be. And that our genetical influences can be
overcome, SHOULD WE WISH THAT. Based on individual choice, for all cases
where our behaviour is not damaging to others (A is not, B is).

Problems like these still exist today in the case of pedofilian
relationships. It all depends on our points of view on when we accept
individuals (note: not agegroups, individual cases) to be responsible
enough to take their own decisions.

Another example are gender 'deviations' and our societies pressure to make
them conform to the two sexes system. (horrible medical stories!)

Then again they're not my problem, so why should i worry about them, right
? ;-)

Joost de Lyser