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In the midst of the serene world of mental illness. | by Rosa Menkman
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In the midst of the serene world of mental illness.

In the 18th century madness was constituted as a mental illness. This definition afforded the evidence of a broken dialogue that occurs between reason and the voids of reason.

It also posits the separation between the modern man and the words of the madman, and thrusts into oblivion all those imperfect words, without fixed syntax, a little stammered, through which the exchange of madness and reason takes place. Today, the modern man no longer communicates with the madman. There is no common language for the madman.

The language of psychiatry, which has always been a monologue of reason on madness, was able to establish itself only on the basis of this silence.

 

Foucault, M. “First Preface to Histoire de la folie”. In Pli 13 (2002):1-12.

Online: www.warwick.ac.uk/philosophy/pli_journal/vol_13.html

  

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Uploaded on April 14, 2008