The Birth of the Clinic by Michel Foucault
An Archaeology of Medical Perception

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 1 Critic Review

unrated

Synopsis

In the eighteenth century, medicine underwent a mutation. For the first time, medical knowledge took on a precision that had formerly belonged only to mathematics. The body became something that could be mapped. Disease became subject to new rules of classification. And doctors begin to describe phenomena that for centuries had remained below the threshold of the visible and expressible.

In The Birth of the Clinic the philosopher and intellectual historian who may be the true heir to Nietzsche charts this dramatic transformation of medical knowledge. As in his classic Madness and Civilization, Michel Foucault shows how much what we think of as pure science owes to social and cultural attitudes -- in this case, to the climate of the French Revolution. Brilliant, provocative, and omnivorously learned, his book sheds new light on the origins of our current notions of health and sickness, life and death.
 

About Michel Foucault

See more books from this Author
Michel Foucault was born on October 15, 1926, in Poitiers, France, and was educated at the Sorbonne, in Paris. He taught at colleges all across Europe, including the Universities of Lill, Uppsala, Hamburg, and Warsaw, before returning to France. There he taught at the University of Paris and the College of France, where he served as the chairman of History of Systems of Thought until his death. Regarded as one of the great French thinkers of the twentieth century, Foucault's interest was in the human sciences, areas such as psychiatry, language, literature, and intellectual history. He made significant contributions not just to the fields themselves, but to the way these areas are studied, and is particularly known for his work on the development of twentieth-century attitudes toward knowledge, sexuality, illness, and madness. Foucault's initial study of these subjects used an archaeological method, which involved sifting through seemingly unrelated scholarly minutia of a certain time period in order to reconstruct, analyze, and classify the age according to the types of knowledge that were possible during that time. This approach was used in Madness and Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason, for which Foucault received a medal from France's Center of Scientific Research in 1961, The Birth of the Clinic, The Order of Things, and The Archaeology of Knowledge. Foucault also wrote Discipline and Punishment: The Birth of the Prison, a study of the ways that society's views of crime and punishment have developed, and The History of Sexuality, which was intended to be a six-volume series. Before he could begin the final two volumes, however, Foucault died of a neurological disorder in 1984.
 
Published March 29, 1994 by Vintage. 240 pages
Genres: History, Law & Philosophy, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Birth of the Clinic

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

At times, though, the mixture of erudition and rhetoric becomes overpowering and we seem to be in the presence of a Sid Caesar imitation of intellectual doubletalk on ""Your Show of Shows."" The celebrated French savant has one thesis which he hammers at from book to book, the notion that ""the p...

Sep 10 1973 | Read Full Review of The Birth of the Clinic: An A...

Reader Rating for The Birth of the Clinic
94%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 9 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review