Michel Foucault, (born October fifteen, 1926, Poitiers, France – died June twenty five, 1984, Paris), French philosopher as well as historian, one of probably the most important and debatable scholars of the post World War II period.
The son as well as grandson of a doctor, Michel Foucault was created to a solidly bourgeois household. He resisted what he regarded as the provincialism of the upbringing of his and the native country of his, and the career of his was marked by regular sojourns abroad. A notable but at times erratic pupil, Foucault received entry at the age of twenty to the École Normale Superieure (ENS) in Paris in 1946. There he studied philosophy and psychology, adopted and then abandoned communism, as well as established a good reputation as a sedulous, amazing, and eccentric pupil.
After graduating in 1952, Foucault started a career marked by continual movement, both professionally and intellectually. He taught at the Faculty of Lille, then wasted 5 years (1955 60) working as a cultural attache at Uppsala, Sweden; Warsaw, Poland; and Hamburg, West Germany (now Germany). Foucault defended the doctoral dissertation of his at the ENS in 1961. Circulated under the title Folie et deraison: histoire de la folie à l’âge classique (“Madness and Unreason: A History of Madness in the Classical Age”). It won critical praise but had a limited audience. (An abridged version was translated into English and published in 1965 as Madness and Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason.)
His other early monographs, written while he taught at the University of Clermont-Ferrand in France (1960-66), had much the same fate. Not until the look of Les Mots et les choses (Things” and “words; Eng. trans. The Order of Things) in 1966 did Foucault start attracting large notice as one of probably the most unique and debatable thinkers of his days. He decided to view his developing ideas from a distance – at the Faculty of Tunis in Tunisia (1966-68) – and was still in Tunis when student riots erupted in Paris of the spring of 1968.
In 1969 he published L’Archeologie du savoir (The Archaeology of Knowledge). In 1970, after a short tenure as director of the philosophy department at the Faculty of Paris, Vincennes, he was given a chair in the history of systems of thought at the Collège de France, France’s most prestigious post secondary institution. The appointment granted Foucault the chance to conduct intense research.
Between 1971 as well as 1984 Foucault wrote a few works, like Surveiller et punir: naissance de la prison (1975; Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison), a monograph on the growth of the contemporary prison; 3 volumes of a record of Western sexuality; in addition to countless essays. Foucault continued traveling widely, and also as his status grew he spent lengthy periods in Brazil, Canada, Italy, Japan, and the United States.
He became especially connected to Berkeley, California, and the San Francisco Bay area and became a visiting lecturer at the Faculty of California at Berkeley for a few years. Foucault died of a septicemia typical of Aids in 1984, the fourth volume of the history of sexuality however incomplete.