The Art of Thinking

1. The Masked Philosopher by Michel Foucault – Why does he remain unknown?

Foucault wanted to remain anonymous because he believed that by so doing, he would be creating more interest in his work, as people would concentrate more on it rather than on himself. He argues that our society is full of characters who come and go. He thought that if he produced a piece of work that had no name, there was a higher chance that it could get a better reception and people would try to understand it better if they did not know who the author was, as compared to if the writer was already known. He argued that by so doing, the contact surface between the writer and the reader was undisturbed.

2. Madness and Civilization by Michel Foucault

According to Foucault, there are two forms of madness, one being the one people believe they already know, and the other that they do not know (Wilson, 160). He argues that these conditions are not necessarily as a result of a mental condition, but the difference between reason and non reason, but whichever side the discussion would take, it would be termed as madness. It could therefore be said that the main difference between a mad person and a reasonable person is their level of understanding. The more people do not understand each other, the more mad they are in relation to each other.

3. Herculine Barbin: Being the Recently Discovered Memoirs by Michael Foucault

Herculine Barbin was born and his family regarded him as a girl. He assumed the name Alexina and lived his life as girl in a very religious and feminine social milieu (Wilson, 170). It was later identified that Barbin was a young man and not a girl. It was after the experts determined that his general outlook might have given the wrong indication of the child’s sex, and there were other factors that were masked by the physical appearances and physicality. After he was discovered to be a boy, Barbin could not live with the same society that had known him as a girl. Since he could not face them, he ended up committing suicide.

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4. Discipline and Punish by Michel Foucault

Bentham’s Panopticon was the architectural design of the segregated communities from the rest of the world (Wilson, 167). Michel Foucault describes it in the holistic way where the society is divided into the people who should be taken away from the society and excluded. They included lepers and those who were affected by plagues. He then explains that there would be further binary division where people with opposing traits would again be excluded from each other. This would reflect on their confinement building since they will have a divide between them, and a guard to ensure that they did not come together.

5. This is Not a Pipe by Michel Foucault

Foucault explains the pipe in a very weird way, that not only shows the differences in the painting that a nonprofessional would perceive to be similar, but in different contexts as well. The difference in writing, positioning, siting among others are well highlighted and the differences explained in a twisted but accurate way (Wilson, 156). He outlines many differences including the size and the general positioning on the medium the image was drawn. He has done a critical analysis which must be commended.

6. Personal Reflection

I have at some point been surprised at some decisions I make, making me wonder whether anyone would do them in their normal being. At times, I have asked myself why and how I could be behaving differently from other people, a situation that begs the question of whether I am the one who is not normal or it is them who are not. This is because madness is essentially a perceived feeling of being different from others, believing that one, either them or I, are out of normalcy. It is a state of feeling lonely while walking along a certain mental path. This is something that almost everyone has had at some point in their lives.

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