Traces the literary, philosophical, and moral themes of madness as well as its social and theological impact in the sixteenth through eighteenth centuries
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: In this classic account of madness, Michel Foucault demonstrates why his position as one of the most distinguished of European philosophers since the end of World War II is beyond doubt; his influence dominates contemporary thinking. Madness and Civilization is Foucault's first major text and is seminal to the study of his work, since his other books expand on themes established here: power and imprisonment are at the very heart of this study. Evoking shock, pity and fascination, this book aims to change the way the reader thinks about society and the nature of selfhood.