The Theme Of Madness In Michel Foucault's Madness And Civilization?

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Throughout the ages the topic of madness has been approached in many distinct manners. In the comic book “Batman: The Killing Joke” — especially in the scene presented in the stimulus above — a lot of attention is paid to Joker’s lunacy. In this book, he is portrayed not as a complete and indisputable madman but rather as a character banding the borderline between sanity and madness. Such a situation evokes questions about the nature of madness and its understanding in our world. From the philosophical perspective, this topic has been raised by numerous philosophers; among whom Michel Foucault, in the book Madness and Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason, is the most famous for his critique of the post-Enlightenment attitude …show more content…

Those crimes are not enhanced by desire for money, ambition, or other by any other ordinary motive. The terror he spreads is entirely ideological and his motivations might be even called philosophical. One could venture to say that Joker, in his whole complexity, may serve as a personification of the main thought behind Foucault’s Madness and Civilization; the idea that madness is not a natural, unchanging thing, but rather depends on the society in which it exists. This book, however not purely philosophical, addresses two vital issues: the mutual implications of madness and confinement as well as the relationship between knowledge and power. Regarding the former, Foucault’s history explains how the mad came first to be confined; how they became identified as confined due to moral and economic factors that determined those who ought to be confined; how they became perceived as dangerous through their confinement, partly by way of atavistic identification with the lepers whose place they had come to occupy; how they remained confined, both physically in asylums and in the designation of being mad; and how this confinement subsequently became enacted in the figure of the psychiatrist, whose practice is “a certain moral tactic contemporary with the end of the eighteenth century, preserved in the rites of the asylum life, and overlaid by the myths of …show more content…

He joins a small gang of criminals to make easy money. Before the day of the heist, his wife and unborn child die in an accident. He is forced to commit the crime and in the middle of it is met by the Batman. Startled, he falls into a vat of chemicals in the factory where the crime is taking place and escapes it with already changed personality. From this moment, all his crimes are motivated, among other reasons, by the need to cope with the reality around him. Such an interpretation of madness is astonishingly similar to the one presented by Plato in Phaedrus. In this dialogue, Plato discusses the relationship between madness, divinity, and love (eros). What is formed by a combination of madness and love is a passion which is characterised as human madness. On the opposing side, there is divine madness which Plato directly regards as “a gift from the god.” Among this category, four different subtypes of madness are distinguished and one of them can be read as a perfect justification of Joker’s mental

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