Response to Foucault’s piece

The discourse of madness and the paradox of madness

First of all, I want to point out the opposition between reasoning and insanity, where the discourses of madman were often oblivious but observed to possess underlying truths. The irony is that it was also through listened discourses that madmen were recognized; and, at the same time, his discourses were also immediately discarded as there were no psychological doctors that would pay any sufficient amount of attention to or infer any important matter from the words of mad people, at least not until the end of XVIII century.

Therefore, the importance and reason behind the madman’s discourses were only appreciated through the literature (Don Quixote), used as a sign, through something I would want to call as masked methods for an implying way of telling the truth.

Until now, even that the words of a madman is listened, however, the act of listening is not because from the needs of being listened of the patient but from the established law that force the doctor to listen to the patients.  The doctors, while listening to the patients, are also not listening to them.Why? This was due to the fact that language were something determined by our mind even before we know of its existence. The act of listening is a part of our censorship to the world, that is, we have already synthesized the meaning of the discourses imbued with nonsense and insanity even before we make the act of listening.

The opposition between right and wrong

Truth and knowledge are the cores of human’s society. However, opposing to the nowadays definition about what is truth and knowledge. In VII B.C., truth was something originated from the rightful person during a certain ceremony, which was, the meetings that philosophers such as Socrates and Plato would gather and speak out of their minds what they think were the truth of the universe. Or a more detailed example mentioned earlier in this piece (The order of things) is the Chinese’s encyclopedia where we would think about the validity and possibility of such classification. Without much different from Socrates’s age, it all came down to the decision of a man or group of men that controlled the truth without much solid evidence but discourses.

However, after sometimes, the definition of the truth was dramatically changed as it didn’t have anything to do with what it was about or where it came from but what it said, that is, the contain rather than the presentation and the origination. Thus, there was a new separation between the right discourse and the wrong one. The right discourse wasn’t the most honored and desired one, because it was not the discourse that attached to the power as mentioned above. Instead, the truth, was then base on “From now on, every resemblance must be subjected  to proof by comparison, that is, it will not be accepted until its identity and the series of its differences have been discovered by means of measurement with a common unit, or, more radically, by its position in an order.” (The order of things,p.55)

P/s:I acknowledge that some points made maybe inaccurate and prolix. Thank you for reading my response. :)

It is also interesting to note the development of our knowledge system:

-From unattached classification without any scientific linkages (the Chinese’s encyclopedia) to the similitude (Linnaeus’ system) to the resemblance (p.51) to the 2 forms of comparison: measurement and order (p.53) to the definition of nowadays truth mentioned above (p.55)

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