The World of Psychiatry and the World of War: Foucault's Use of Metaphors in Le pouvoir psychiatrique

Line Joranger
2012 History of European Ideas  
1 In his series of lectures, Le pouvoir psychiatrique, Michel Foucault employs concepts from the military field of knowledge in order to analyse the founding scenes of psychiatry. I focus on three issues connected to Foucault's use of these military terms. Firstly, I examine why Foucault was reluctant to use concepts from sociology and psychology in Le pouvoir psychiatrique and how this affects the notions that he had formulated in his earlier work, Histoire de la folie. Secondly, I show how he
more » ... challenges traditional understandings of the founding scenes of psychiatry by using concepts from a different field of knowledge. In doing this, he creates metaphors, and this is something that he himself had previously been critical of doing. Thirdly, I reflect upon the fact that Foucault's creative use of concepts from different disciplines and examples from different historical times can be related to episodes in his own life; I argue why it is important to supplement a structural analysis with linguistic, phenomenological and hermeneutical ones.
doi:10.1080/01916599.2012.728744 fatcat:5mbedlyxevcxbg7gfbiyefvpiy