Home » Thoughts » 30 phrases by Michel Foucault that mark the thoughts of this philosopher

30 phrases by Michel Foucault that mark the thoughts of this philosopher

On all sides, madness fascinates man.

There are moments in life when the question of knowing whether one can think differently than one thinks, and perceive differently from what one sees, is essential to continue looking or reflecting.

Discourse is not simply that which translates the struggles or systems of domination, but that because, for which the power that we want to seize is fought.

The new is not in what is said, but in the event of its return.

Every educational system is a political way of maintaining or modifying the adequacy of discourses with the knowledge and powers they entail.

Fiction does not consist in making the invisible visible, but in showing the extent to which the invisibility of the visible is invisible.

The soul, prison of the body.

From man to real man, the path passes through the mad man.

We need to resolve our secret monsters, our secret wounds, our hidden insanity.

There is no anguish or fantasy behind happiness, this is what we no longer tolerate.

Couldn’t everyone’s life be turned into a work of art? Why should a lamp or a house be an object of art and not our life?

The lights that discovered freedoms also invented disciplines.

What is not regulated for generation or transfigured by it has no threshing floor, no border, no law. Nor verb either. It is at the same time expelled, denied and reduced to silence.

The problem is not to change people’s “conscience”, or what they have in their heads, but the political, economic, institutional regime of truth production.

The diploma only serves to constitute a kind of mercantile value of knowledge. This also allows non-degree holders to believe they have no right to know or are unable to know. All people who acquire a degree know that it is of no use to them, it has no content, it is empty. On the other hand, those who do not have a degree give them a full meaning. I think the diploma was made precisely for those who don’t have it.

You have to be a hero to face the morals of your time.

Desire and institution are concerned about what discourse is in its material reality as a thing pronounced or written.

Man and vanity move the world.

Where there is power, there is resistance.

We live in a society that largely marches ‘in step with the truth’ – that is, that produces and circulates discourses that function as truth, that pass for such and that, for that reason, hold specific powers.

It may seem strange that the prison is similar to factories, schools, barracks, hospitals; do they all look like prisons?

Psychology can never tell the truth about madness, for it is madness that holds the truth of psychology.

Oedipus was not blinded by guilt, but by too much information.

When I think about it, he said as soon as he read or listened to it, when I think of this sentence that is going to leave for eternity without which I may not have fully understood yet.

For all happiness is perhaps no more than happiness of expression.

In short, we have to admit that this power is exercised more than it is possessed.

I’m not a prophet. My job is to make windows where there were walls before.

The new is not in what is said, but in the event of its return.

Rather than taking the floor, I would like to be enveloped by it and carried well beyond every possible beginning.

The problems of madness revolve around the materiality of the soul.

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