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Madness and Democracy: The Modern Psychiatric Universe

Madness and Democracy: The Modern Psychiatric Universe Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

How the insane asylum became a laboratory of democracy is revealed in this provocative look at the treatment of the mentally ill in nineteenth-century France. Political thinkers reasoned that if government was to rest in the hands of individuals, then measures should be taken to understand the deepest reaches of the self, including the state of madness. Marcel Gauchet and Gladys Swain maintain that the asylum originally embodied the revolutionary hope of curing all the insane by saving the glimmer of sanity left in them. Their analysis of why this utopian vision failed ultimately constitutes both a powerful argument for liberalism and a direct challenge to Michel Foucault's indictment of liberal institutions.

The creation of an artificial environment was meant to encourage the mentally ill to live as social beings, in conditions that resembled as much as possible those prevailing in real life. The asylum was therefore the first instance of a modern utopian community in which a scientifically designed environment was supposed to achieve complete control over the minds of a whole category of human beings. Gauchet and Swain argue that the social domination of the inner self, far from being the hidden truth of emancipation, represented the failure of its overly optimistic beginnings.

Madness and Democracy combines rich details of nineteenth-century asylum life with reflections on the crucial role of subjectivity and difference within modernism. Its final achievement is to show that the lessons learned from the failure of the asylum led to the rise of psychoanalysis, an endeavor focused on individual care and on the cooperation between psychiatrist and patient. By linking the rise of liberalism to a chapter in the history of psychiatry, Gauchet and Swain offer a fascinating reassessment of political modernity.

Table of Contents

Foreword
Editor's Note
Introduction3
Abstract I: The Moment of Origin19
Pt. 1Advent, Apotheosis, and Failure of the Asylum Establishment
Abstract II23
Ch. ILa Salpetriere, or The Double Birth of the Asylum25
Ch. IIThe Politics of the Asylum49
Ch. IIIImpossible Power84
Ch. IVA Socializing Machine100
Abstract III: Crisis, Agony, and Repetition145
Abstract IV: Esquirol at La Salpetriere145
Pt. 2The Passions as a Sketch of a General Theory of Mental Alienation
Abstract V: Esqirol in 1805149
Abstract VI: The Clinical Resolution149
Abstract VII: Between the Will to Madness and Brain Lesions149
Abstract VIII: What the Passions Make It Possible to Think (Beginning)150
Ch. VWhat the Passions Make It Possible to Think151
Ch. VIReducing Insanity: The Mirror of Alterity163
Abstract IX: Approaches to Healing; How to Speak to the Insane167
Ch. VIIThe Society of Individuals and the Institution of Speech169
Ch. VIIIThe Conquest of Dissymmetry194
Ch. IXOpenings and Aporia of Moral Treatment230
Epilogue: Social Divide, Division of the Subject, Mad Rupture255
Notes283
List of Works Cited311
Index317

Product Details

ISBN:
9780691033723
Translator:
Porter, Catherine
Author:
Porter, Catherine
Author:
Seigel, Jerrold E.
Author:
Gauchet, Marcel
Author:
Swain, Gladys
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Location:
Princeton, N.J. :
Subject:
Europe - France
Subject:
Psychotherapy
Subject:
Democracy
Subject:
France
Subject:
Mental Illness
Subject:
Power (Social sciences)
Subject:
Mental Disorders
Subject:
Psychiatric hospital care
Subject:
Psychotherapy -- Methods.
Subject:
Hospitals, Psychiatric.
Subject:
Power
Subject:
Political Ideologies - Democracy
Subject:
Political
Subject:
Psychology
Subject:
Philosophy
Subject:
Mind, Body & Spirit
Subject:
European History
Series:
New French Thought
Publication Date:
19990523
Binding:
Hardback
Language:
English
Pages:
360
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 23 oz

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Politics » General

Madness and Democracy: The Modern Psychiatric Universe
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