Quotes Categories

Michel Foucault Quotes

(1926-1984), French Essayist, Philosopher

Freedom of conscience entails more dangers than authority and despotism.

Category: Conscience

The lyricism of marginality may find inspiration in the image of the ''outlaw,'' the great social nomad, who prowls on the confines of a docile, frightened order.

Category: Crime And Criminals

The strategic adversary is fascism... the fascism in us all, in our heads and in our everyday behavior, the fascism that causes us to love power, to desire the very thing that dominates and exploits us.

Category: Fascism

As the archeology of our thought easily shows, man is an invention of recent date. And one perhaps nearing its end.

Category: Humankind

There are more ideas on earth than intellectuals imagine. And these ideas are more active, stronger, more resistant, more passionate than ''politicians'' think. We have to be there at the birth of ideas, the bursting outward of their force: not in books expressing them, but in events manifesting this force, in struggles carried on around ideas, for or against them. Ideas do not rule the world. But it is because the world has ideas... that it is not passively ruled by those who are its leaders or those who would like to teach it, once and for all, what it must think.

Category: Ideas

The work of an intellectual is not to mould the political will of others; it is, through the analyses that he does in his own field, to re-examine evidence and assumptions, to shake up habitual ways of working and thinking, to dissipate conventional familiarities, to re-evaluate rules and institutions and to participate in the formation of a political will (where he has his role as citizen to play).

Category: Intelligence And Intellectuals

The judges of normality are present everywhere. We are in the society of the teacher-judge, the doctor-judge, the educator-judge, the ''social worker'' -judge.

Category: Judgment And Judges

Chance does not speak essentially through words nor can it be seen in their convolution. It is the eruption of language, its sudden appearance. It's not a night twinkle with stars, an illuminated sleep, nor a drowsy vigil. It is the very edge of consciousness.

Category: Luck

Madness is the absolute break with the work of art; it forms the constitutive moment of abolition, which dissolves in time the truth of the work of art.

Category: Madness

Power is not an institution, and not a structure; neither is it a certain strength we are endowed with; it is the name that one attributes to a complex strategical situation in a particular society.

Category: Power

Prison continues, on those who are entrusted to it, a work begun elsewhere, which the whole of society pursues on each individual through innumerable mechanisms of discipline.

Category: Prison

Psychoanalysis can unravel some of the forms of madness; it remains a stranger to the sovereign enterprise of unreason. It can neither limit nor transcribe, nor most certainly explain, what is essential in this enterprise.

Category: Psychoanalysis

In its function, the power to punish is not essentially different from that of curing or educating.

Category: Punishment

If repression has indeed been the fundamental link between power, knowledge, and sexuality since the classical age, it stands to reason that we will not be able to free ourselves from it except at a considerable cost.

Category: Repression