I don't feel that it is necessary to know exactly what I am. The main interest in life and work is to become someone else that you were not in the beginning.

— Michel Foucault

The most dreamy Michel Foucault quotes that will add value to your life

Where there is power, there is resistance.

318

I am hopelessly in love with a memory. An echo from another time, another place.

225

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.

224

...if you are not like everybody else, then you are abnormal, if you are abnormal , then you are sick. These three categories, not being like everybody else, not being normal and being sick are in fact very different but have been reduced to the same thing

211

Power is tolerable only on condition that it mask a substantial part of itself.

Its success is proportional to its ability to hide its own mechanisms.

207

The university and in a general way, all teaching systems, which appear simply to disseminate knowledge, are made to maintain a certain social class in power; and to exclude the instruments of power of another social class.

176

If you knew when you began a book what you would say at the end, do you think that you would have the courage to write it? What is true for writing and for a love relationship is true also for life. The game is worthwhile insofar as we don't know what will be the end.

151

...it's my hypothesis that the individual is not a pre-given entity which is seized on by the exercise of power. The individual, with his identity and characteristics, is the product of a relation of power exercised over bodies, multiplicities, movements, desires, forces.

132

'Truth' is to be understood as a system of ordered procedures for the production, regulation, distribution, circulation and operation of statements. 'Truth' is linked in a circular relation with systems of power which produce and sustain it, and to effects of power which it induces and which extend it. A 'regime' of truth.

128

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.

100

Do not ask who I am and do not ask me to remain the same.

85

Is it surprising that prisons resemble factories, schools, barracks, hospitals, which all resemble prisons?

73

About Michel Foucault

Quotes 169 sayings
Nationality French
Profession Historian
Birthday October 16

Domination is not that solid and global kind of domination that one person exercises over others, or one group over another, but the manifold forms of domination that can be exercised within society.

69

Do not ask who I am and do not ask me to remain the same.

More than one person, doubtless like me, writes in order to have no face.

65

Power is everywhere...because it comes from everywhere.

60

Homosexuality appeared as one of the forms of sexuality when it was transposed from the practice of sodomy into a kind of interior androgyny, a hermaphroditism of the soul. The sodomite had been a temporary aberration; the homosexual was now a species.

54

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.

53

Total surveillance is increasingly the general condition of society as a whole.

48

You know the difference between a real science and a pseudoscience? A real science recognizes and accepts its own history without feeling attacked. When you tell a psychiatrist his mental institution came from a lazar house, he becomes infuriated.

48

Death left its old tragic heaven and became the lyrical core of man: his invisible truth, his visible secret.

46

[Knowledge is governed not by] a theory of knowledge, but by a theory of discursive practice.

41

The first task of the doctor is ... political: the struggle against disease must begin with a war against bad government." Man will be totally and definitively cured only if he is first liberated.

39

Our society is not one of spectacle but of surveillance.

36

The imaginary is not formed in opposition to reality as its denial or compensation; it grows among signs, from book to book, in the interstice of repetitions and commentaries; it is born and takes shape in the interval between books. It is the phenomena of the library.

30

A critique does not consist in saying that things aren't good the way they are.

It consists in seeing on just what type of assumptions, of familiar notions, of established and unexamined ways of thinking the accepted practices are based... To do criticism is to make harder those acts which are now too easy.

29

Truth is undoubtedly the sort of error that cannot be refuted because it was hardened into an unalterable form in the long baking process of history

28

The language of psychiatry, which is a monologue by reason about madness, could only have come into existence in such a silence.

27

Since the Fall, man had accepted labor as a penance and for its power to work redemption. It was not a law of nature which forced man to work, but the effect of a curse.

27

Sexual behavior is not, as is too often assumed, a superimposition of, on the one hand, desires which derive from natural instincts, and, on the other hand, of permissive or restrictive laws which tell us what we should or shouldn't do. Sexual behavior is more than that.

26

Politics is not what it pretends to be, the expression of a collective will.

Politics breathes well only where this will is multiple, hesitant, confused, and obscure even to itself.

24

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.

20

The soul is the effect and instrument of a political anatomy; the soul is the prison of the body

19

Man is a thinking being. The way he thinks is related to society, politics, economics, and history and is also related to very general and universal categories and formal structures. But thought is something other than societal relations.

18

I don't write a book so that it will be the final word;

I write a book so that other books are possible, not necessarily written by me.

17

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.

16

Why should the lamp or the house be an art object but not our life?

15

Perhaps [transgression] is like a flash of lightning in the night which, from the beginning of time, gives a dense and black intensity to the night it denies, which lights up the night from the inside, from top to bottom, yet owes to the dark the stark clarity of its manifestation, its harrowing and poised singularity.

15

Freedom of conscience entails more dangers than authority and despotism.

15

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.

14

Madness designates the equinox between the vanity of night's hallucinations and the non-being of light's judgments.

12

The practice of S/M is the creation of pleasure.

... And that's why S/M is really a subculture. It's a process of invention. S/M isthe use of a strategic relationship as a source of pleasure.

12

In civilizations without boats, dreams dry up, espionage takes the place of adventure and the police take the place of pirates.

11

Modern society is perverse, not in spite of its puritanism or as if from a backlash provoked by its hypocrisy; it is in actual fact, and directly, perverse.

11

Wars are no longer waged in the name of a sovereign who must be defended;

they are waged on behalf of the existence of everyone; entire populations are mobilized for the purpose of wholesale slaughter in the name of life necessity: massacres have become vital.

11

I'm very proud that some people think that I'm a danger for the intellectual health of students. When people start thinking of health in intellectual activities, I think there is something wrong. In their opinion I am a dangerous man, since I am a crypto-Marxist, an irrationalist, a nihilist.

11

Penal law was not created by the common people, nor by the peasantry, nor by the proletariat, but entirely by the bourgeoisie as an important tactical weapon in this system of divisions which they wished to introduce.

11

Visibility is a trap.

10

The intellectual was rejected and persecuted at the precise moment when the facts became incontrovertible, when it was forbidden to say that the emperor had no clothes.

10

There is no binary division to be made between what one says and what one does not say; we must try to determine the different ways of not saying things.

10
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