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Foucault and the Writing

of History
Edited by


Ox/ord UK &- Cambridge USA
Copyright © Basil Blackwell Ltd 1994

First published 1994

Blackwell Publishers
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Oxford OX4 lJF
All rights reserved. Except for the quotation of short passages for the purposes
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List ·of Contributors VIl
of the publisher.

Except in the United States of America, this book is sold subject to the Acknowledgments XII
condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, resold, hired
out, or otherwise circulated, wiihout the publisher's prior consent in any form of lntroduction
binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar Jan Goldstein
condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Part 1 Eros and the Family in Classical Antiquity 17
Foucault and the writing of history 1 edited by Jan Goldstein.
p. cm.
1 Historicizing the Subject of Desire: Sexual Preferences
Papers presented at a conference held at the University of
and Erotic Identities in the Pseudo-Lucianic Er6tes 19
Chicago, Oct. 24-26, 1991.
lncludes index. David M. Halperin
ISBN 0-631-17007-3 (alk. paper).- ISBN 0-631-17008-1 (pbk;)
l. Foucault, Michel-Congresses. 2. History-Philosophy- 2 Foucault on Sexuality in Greco-Roman Antiquity 35
Congresses .. 3. Historiography-Congresses. 4. France-History- David Cohen and Richard Saller
Congresses. l. Goldstein, Jan Ellen.
B2430.F724F685 1994
19~dc2o· 93_:_39185
Part 11 The Constitution of the Subject 61

British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data 3 Ethics as Ascetics: Foucault, the History of Ethics, and
A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. Ancient Thóught 63
Arnold l. Davidson
Typeset in 10/12pt Ehrhardt by Photoprint, Torquay, Devon
Printed and bound in Great Britain by Hartnolls Limited. Bodmin, Cornwall
4 Kant, Foucault, and Three Women 81
This book is printed on acid-free paper Carla Hesse
vi Contents

5 Foucault and the Post-Revolutionary Self: The Uses of

Cousinian Pedagogy in Nineteenth-Century France 99
Jan Goldstein

6 Foucault and the Freudian Subject: Archaeology,

Genealogy, and the Historicization of Psychoarialysis
John E. Toews
116 List of Contributors
Part III The Life Sciences and Modem Sexuality 135

7 The History of Medicine according to Foucault 137

Fran(ois De/aporte

8 Love and Reproductive Biology in Fin-de-Siede France:

A Foucauldian Lacuna? 150 Keith Michael BAKER is ]. E. Wallace Sterling Professor in the
Robert A. Nye Humanities and Professor of History at Stanford University. His publica-
tions include Condorcet: From Natural Philosophy to Social Mathematics
(Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1975), the edited collection The
-Part IV The Liberal State: Origins and Elaborations 165 F'rench Revolution and the Creation of Modern Política[ Cultur-e, Vol. 1: The
Política! Culture of the Old Regime (Oxford: Pergamon, 1987), and lnventing
9 The Chimera of the Origin: Archaeology, Cultural the French Revolution (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University
History, and the French Revolution 167 Press, 1990).
Roger Chartier
Robert CASTEL is currently Directeur d'Etudes at the Ecole des Hautes
10 A Foucauldian French Revolution? 187 E tu des en Sciences Sociales in Paris. Two of his books on the sociology of
Keith Michael Baker
psychiatry and psychoanalysis have been translated into English: The
Regulation of Madness: The Origins of Incarceration in France (Cambridge:
11 Governing Poverty: Sources of the Social Question in
Nineteenth-Century France Polity Press, 1990) and The Psychiatric Society (with Fran<;:oise Castel and
Gi(!Vanna Procacci Anne Lovell; New York: Columbia University Press, 1982). He is presently
working on the factors conducive to the breakdown of society and on the
12 Combined Underdevelopment: Discipline and the Law transformations taking place in social intervention and social policy.
in Imperial and Soviet Russia 220
Laura Engelstein Roger CHARTIER is Directeur d'Etudes at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes
en Sciences Sociales in .París, where he is presently Director of the Centre
13 "Problematizatión" as a Mode of Reading History 237 Alexandre Koyré. A specialist in cultural history, he has published in
Robert Castel · English trarrslation The Cultural Uses ofPrint in Early Modern France
(Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1987), Cultural History: Between
Notes 253 Practices and Representations {Cambridge and Ithaca, NY: Polity Press and
Cornell University Press, 1988), The Cultural Origins of the French Revolution
Index 305 (Durhain, NC: Duke University Press, 1991), and The Order ofBooks:
236 Laura Engelstein

liberalism. "The time for purely political revolutions has long passed ,, he
wrote. "Russia will witness the struggle for land as well for legality [pravo] 13
and not for land alone but for the establishment of social and econoníi~
justice [spravedlivostl " 48 In the event, it was not only legality that gol: short
shift but also social justice.
In Russia, liberalism ultimately failed, and the custodia! state survived by ''Problematization" as a Mode
enlisting and absorbing the ageDcies of social self-formation it inherited in
embryonic form. In contrast to the imperfect world of capitalist liberalism of Reading History
which both extends and violates the promise of rights, the Soviet regim~
long offered discipline Vlrithout rights. This was not merely the old Robert Castel
Polizeistaat under new ideological auspices - the return of Catherine the
Terrible - but its refurbishment with new tactics, by which society was
enlisted to do its own policing but in which the discursive authority of the
professional disciplines, speaking in the name of "science," functioned only
as a dependency of the state. The very meaning of "discipline," as invoked
by F oucault in the bourgeois context to signifY social self-regulation The w?rk of Michel Foucault does not explicitly accord a central place to
through the dissemination of scientifically validated norms and professional the notwn of problematization. I would like to show nonetheless that one of
practices, resulting in the politically useful subterfuge of individual sover- his essential methodological contributións can be characterized in this
eignty, loses its sense in the Soviet context, although it is certainly true that fashion. In so doing, 1 do not consider myself an orthodox "Foucauldian"
control in Soviet society was not merely exercised by state institutions and my goal is less to indicate the place this notion has in the intern~l
"from the top down." Without the guarantees promised by the law, even if economy of Foucault's work than to discuss a means of utilizing history to
not always successfully provided, authority, it would seem, cannot reside in account for the present. What use did Foucault make of history, and what
society. Without a measure of autonomy, without even the appearance of use can be made of it in arder to "problematize" a current question?
autonomy, as in the Soviet case, there has historically been no tension Furthermore, I do not intend to sing the praises of problematization but
between subjectivity and submission. The Soviet regime, often used to rather to stress that it is a problematic idea, one which exemplifies
symbolize the essence of modern tyranny, has, more accurately, provided an Foucault's difficult relationship with history and, beyond him, with non-
example of illusory ~odernity, an administrative state that mobilizes historians,_ ~yself included, who give significant weight to history in their
disciplines not free in either fact or pretense. In the Soviet aftermath, the research; It IS a way of invoking history with which historians themselves
"deceptive" visions of civic modernity still remain an alluring dream. Russia ~ay not agree. My goal, then, is to question those who praCtice the craft of
is a society that has yet to generate the luxury of a Michel Foucault to push h1story about the legitimacy of this attempt to formulate a "history of the
it to consíder the enticements of paradox. pres~nt" and also to consider its dangers and limitations with respect to the
reqmrements of historical methodology.


. Let us take as our starting point the description - if not a definition - of this
notion as proposed by Foucault in an interview shortly before his death:
"Pro?lematization is not the representation of a preexisting object, or the
creatwn through discourse of an object that does not exist. It is the totality
238 Robert Castel "Problematization" and Reading History 239

of discursive and non-discursive practices that brings something into the What are the problems raised by this approach in its relationship to
play of truth and falsehood and sets it up as an object for the mind."1 "classical" ways of writing history and the demands of the historian's craft?
It is the analysis, then, of "domains of objects," or, as Foucault still calls At least five sorts of difficulties come to mind:
i:hem in L 'Ordre du discours, "positivities" that neither are given for once
and for all nor are pure creations of discourse. These "discursive and non- How can one write a history of the present, which necessitates a reading
discursive practices" refer, in other words, to administrative institutions, of history based on a question formulated today, that is not a projection
regulations, or measures; or architectural arrangements as well as scientific, of today's preoccupations onto the past? This kind of projection is
philosophicai, or moral propositions. Psychiaúy is an apparatus of this iype, somctimes caBed "prescntism," and is ·a typc of cLl¡nocentrism: stickini
comprising scientific claims, specific institutions, specialized personnel, a onto the past a concern that holds true only, or principally, for our time.
professional mythology, and special laws and regulations. This sort of Examples abound of this sort of distortion of history, and historians have
apparatus is neither true nor false, but at a given moment it becomes part of reason to be particularly wary of the temptation to rewrite history on the
a debate on truth and falsehood that has incontestably theoretical claims basis of contemporary interests.
and practica! repercussions. It is also a way of affecting others, a type of 2 To speak of a problematization means that the formation under analysis
governing, a way, in other words, of shaping the conduct of others. "i\ly had a beginning. T o reconstruct the history of a question does not mean
problem," Foucault says elsewhere, "is to know how men govcrn going further and further into the past, back to the Romans, the
(themselves and others) by means of the production of truth (I repeat once Egyptians, or the Flood. A problematization emerges at a given moment.
again that by production of truth 1 don't mean the production of truc How can this appearance be dated? What gives one the right to interrupt
statements but the administering of realms in which the practice of the truc the move toward an undefined past with the assertion that this current
and the false can be both regulated and relevant) .... In short, I would likc question began to be formulated at such and such a moment in the past?
to place The register of the production of truth and falsehood at the heart of (lnversely, there are questions, once of key importance, that have now
2 ceased to matter: for example, the various theological, philosophical,
historical analysis and political debate."
One essential characteristic of this historical problematization of any political, scientific, and practica! problems concerning the earth's place at
apparatus needs to be emphasized .. The starting point of the analysis ami the center of Creation were largely forgotten after the Copernican
the orientation that directs it are the present situation, the way in which thc Revolution.)
question is asked today. In the article from the Magazine littérairc citcd 3 If one accepts that a problematization has appeared in the past, it does
above, in which Foucault presents the notion of problematization, he goes not repeat itself. It has been transformed; significant changes have taken
on to say: "I start with a problem in the terms in which it is currently posed place, but they have occurred against a backdrop of continuity that allows
and attempt to establish its genealogy; genealogy means that l conduct thc one to speak ofthe same problematization. How can the key transforma-
analysis starting from the present situai:ion.:' And, speaking of the pris~n in tions in this dialectic of Same and Other be described? In other words,
Discipline and Punish, he mentions "writing the history of the present. "' 1:o how can one speak of historical "periods"? It is well known that the
write "the history of the present" is to consider the history of a problem m practice of dividing up the past into relatively homogeneous units (the
terms of how it is se en at present. l would like to make a few comments on "Middle Ages," "Renaissance," and so forth) poses considerable
the merits as well as the pitfalls of this perspective. Its starting point is the_ problems for the historian. But in the case of problematization the task is
conviction, which I share, that the present ·reflects a conjunction o! even more demanding, since the uriif)ring principie might not be the
elements inherited from the past and current innovations. In other words, coexistence of its elements in the past but their relationship to a question
the present bears a burde"n, a weight that comes from the past, and the ta~k being asked today.
of the present is to bring this burden up to date in order to understand Jts , 4 A problematization is at least partly constructed using historical. data or
current ramifications. Analyzing a contemporary practice méans viewing ll materials. Therefore it leads to the "choice" of significant elemeil.ts from
from the Standpoint of the historica} basis OUt Of which it emerges; Ít me_a~lS a past time. But obviously it does not reconstruct the totality of au" epoch
grounding our understanding of its current structure on the series o! Jts with all its institutions, its plurality of individuals and groups, its
previous transformations. The past does noi: repeat itself in the present, but innumerable problems. How is it possible to avoid making an arbitrary or
the present is played out, and innovates, utilizing the legacy. of tlle past. careless selection? The question is all the more pressing in that what is
240 Robert Gaste! "Problematization" and Reading Hisl01J' 241

"chosen" within the framework of a problematization can a These are a few questions - doubtless there are more raised by
. l.y mmor
re 1ative . compare d to t h e probl ems e h aractenstic PPcar
. . of a partic problematization and its connection with the demands of scientific history.
historical period. For exam~le, the techni~ues_ of confinement in~~~ Are the differences insurmountable? It would be tempting to gloss over
seventeenth century or the ntuals of confesswn m the Christian past l them, by saying, for example, that historians themselves are guided in their
· ora
that Foucault stressed were matters that probably did not receive a gr choice of object by their own contemporary situation; or that historians do
deal of attention at the time they were established. eat not re-create the totality of a past period and choose from among a virtually
5 The preceding difficulty takes a more technical form as well: one wh infinite mass of historical materials and possible sources. This is true. But
studies a probiematization is not a historian, and it may even be thao these banalities, which today almost everyone agrees upon, are not enough
historians do not work with problematizations. 4 The outsider may appea t to eradicate the difficulties raised by the notion of problematization.
naive or self-taught; history is nota craft that one simply picks up. All th; First, concerning the influence of the present on the reading of the past:
same, this is a qualified objection; Foucault for one was a great reader of the formulation of a series of questions cannot be reduced to a statement
archiva} material. But the difficulty recurs. Generally a problematization that a contemporary issue can sensitize the historian and lead him or her to
covers a long span of time. It cannot be completely constructed from take an interest in this or that aspect of the past. In a problematization, the
primary sources, unpublished discoveries, or historical "scoops." It is diagnostic turned upon the present guides the reading of the past and
largely the outgrowth of the work of historians, which, however, it reads prompts it to decode history along this line of understanding. For example,
in a different way. A problematization is a historical account that differs Foucault presents Discipline and Punish as an attempt to understand "the
from an account written by a historian even though it is often. based on present scientifico-legal complex from which the power to punish derives
the same material - material that is sometimes written by historians its bases, justifications and rules, from which it extends its effects and by
themselves. How is it possible to ensure that an account of this nature which it masks its exorbitant singularity." 5 Likewise, in The History of
does not appear in the eyes of the "real historian" as at best an ·• Sexuality he inquires into the meaning of the vast amouñt of talk in today's
approximation and at worst a fiction? How does one justifY a different society about sex and turns to history with this question, which no previous
reading of historical sources, when the rules for handling them are a epoch has asked precisely because it is a contemporary question.
matter of historical methodology? Second, a problematization does not consist only in lifting a question out
of the context of a past period. It is true that historians sometimes do this,
If the approach called problematization is to be rigorous, two apparentlv but it is in order to attain an initial understanding of the meaning of the
contradictory demands must be reconciled. On the one hand is the need fo~ .· sequence they have selected from a past epoch. Foucault does so in order to
humility toward historical work and history as a profession. No one who has seek the forerunners of the question as it is currently formulated. Thus in
not worked with primary sources and followed the rules of historical the above example it is true that confession is already a way of putting sex
methodology has any right to claim to offer a "better" interpretation of the into words that first emerged in the monastic tradition and became more
materials studied by historians. On the other hand, the interpretation widespread in the seventeenth century, when it became a requirement for
provided must be different. With a potential for duplicating the historian's al! Christians. As Foucault says, "The Christian pastoral prescribed as a
work, the line of questioning opened by a problematization - the questions fundamental duty the task of passing everything having to do with sex
for the "history of the present" - must display its own intelligibility. through the endless mili of speech." 6 But this is no reconstruction of the
Foucault, for example, did not write a social history of the asylum or prison history óf confession, or an evaluation of its importance and functions in the
but did something else. But if his account differs from that of the historian ascetic culture of seventeenth-century society. lnstead it offers an under-
- which it does - it obviously must be consistent and rigorous. lt is standing of the technÓlogies of confession as important components of the
unrealistic to think that a problematization could lead to the complete exercise ofpower today. Monastic confession and its "democratizatiqn" in
reeváluatio~ of the primary sources. Hence the question must be put in the the seventeenth century only figure in the discussion to the extent that these
strongest terms: by what right may one give a different reading of historical historically dated apparatuses helped to set the mechanisms of the present
material (including what is written by historians) if one has not examined apparatus in place. Indeed, then, there is a key difference, if not a
the sources oneself, when one knows "no more" (and generally less) about .. contradiction, between this "history of the present" and the way historians
a given period than the historian? carry out their Craft- even an open and modern history in which the myths
242 Robert Gaste! ''Problematization" and Reading Histmy 243

of absolute historical objectivity and/ or the total re-creation of the past hay e understand the current rise in factors of social instability (unemployment,
been abandoned. · ¡he weakening of relational support systems, the risks of exclusion, and so
The difference in register between history and the approach taken b, forth) based on the transformations of the unstable condition of the working
Foucault is i!lustrated in a work containing a series of 4iscussions bet:wec;1 and me disadvantaged classes over a long period of time.
Foucault and a group of historians that often turns into a conversation
among the deaC For example, it is not re!evant to object to Foucault's use
of Bentham's Panopticon on the grounds that he accorded scant attention II HISTORY AND PROBLEMATIZATION IN
to "real life" in nineteenth-century prísons. Foucault's aim is not 10 HISTOJRE DE LA FOLIE
describe this "real life" but to reveal a program for controlling people
within an enclosed space; the meaning of this program is not exhausted by
merely knowing whether it "worked" or not. On a more general leve!, th~ (1) L 'Histoire de la folie d l'tige classique has incontestably made a significan!
frequent criticisms condemning the "abstract" quality of Foucault's contribution to our knowledge of the history and social functions of
analyses, their distance from what "really happened," miss the mark. :\s psychiatry. Histories of me treatment of mental illness, of considerable
Foucault says, "\Vhen I speak of a 'disciplinary society,' it should not be interest, have appeared before and after its publication. But generally these
taken as 'disciplined society.' When I speak of the diffusion of disciplinan works attempt to follow me developments of me discipline, eimer from an
methods, it is not to state that 'the French are obedient.' " 8 · interna! perspective (centered on the development of psychiatric knowledge
Nonetheless, to the degree that this approach relies on history for its and institutions or the interests of professionals in me field and their
proofs, it cannot manipulate history for its own ends. After Foucault clientele) or in relation to externa! transformations of a moral social or
outlines two rules of historical methodology, which I will leave it to thc poli ti cal order (such as me famous episode of Pinel removing 'the ch~ins
historians to discuss, namely, the "exhaustive treatment of all the material'' from the insane in the context Of the French Revolution). Foucault's
and "equal attention to al! aspects of the chronological sequence under approach marks a break wim mese tactics, which moreover have their own
study," he extricates himself, perhaps a bit too easily, by stating: value (the desire for better treatment was indubitably one of the reasons
behind the evolution of medica! practices devoted to the treatment of
Whoever, on the other hand, wishes to study a problem [Foucault's emphasis] mental disorders). But the history of an apparatus is not only the history of a
that has emerged at a given time must follow other rules: the choice of progression, of the development of knowledge or a body of practices mat
material as a function of the givens of a problem; the focus of the analysis on attain maturity, even through crises. These transformations, marked by
those elements likely to resolve it; the establishment of relationships that stops and starts, retain elements that could be called archaic. Thus; despite
permit this solution. Hence the indifference to the obligation to say a revolution that me professionaJs have proclaimed three times -in the days
everything, even to satisfY the assembled jury of specialists. 9 ·
ofPinel, in those ofFreud, and after World War II, with social psychiatry-
when Foucault wrote L 'Histoire de la folie, the treatment of mental illness
Al! right, but the question is less that of "saying everything" - which one was stilllargely dominated by confinement. This reliance upon segregative
doubts is truly a requirement for the historian - than of carefully choosing practices is nota belated survival of a long-forgotten past. It continues, even
what to keep. In other words, abandoning the requirement or myth of in psychiatric services that claim to be modern, to exert an influence on
exhaustivity does not spare one from reflecting on the critería governing everyday decisions, to block room for initiative, and sometiines to render ·
one's choice of source materials. This ís an extremely dífficult task, sincc the most daring innovations impotent. By reactivating the successive strata
these criteria are not those of the historical methodology that as a rule is to which psychiatric institutions have been he ir sin ce the time -of the
qualified to serve as their basis. . .. leprosaria of the Middle Ages, this type of analysis offers an interpretative
On the leve! of a general presentation of methodological orientations, this grid capable of revealing the mechanisms of contemporary practice: If this
question remaíns an abstract one. Let us try to illustrate it by analyzing thc is not the only possible history of psychiatry, at least it is a strong antidote to
way historical material is treated within the particular framework of. a the histories motivated by me need to retrace the steps followed by the
problematization. Two examples will serve my purpose: Foucault himsell !11 mental health field on its way to scientific maturity and practica! efficacy.
L 'Histoire de la folie, and a current project of my own in which l attempt 10 This "epistemological break" is the necessary condition for revealing and
244 Robert Gaste! "Problematization" and Reading HistOJy
exploring a leve! of rationality that eludes the point-by-,t~oint, or synchronic establishment of_the hiJpital_général for the confinement of the poor and
analyses of the present. Taking a completely different route, Foucau]; beggars of the C1ty and Env1rons of Paris" 12 and rriade it into a c,0 d"
· · h un mg
achieves a displacement homologous to that made by Erving Goffman in act revwmg ~ e power_s of the old enclosed space in which lepers were
Asylums. 10 Each of them opens up a line of inquiry that makes it possible to confined dunng the M1ddle Ages and which would serve as the mat · r-
. d"f"' . nx ror
reintegrate institutional practices and professional ideologies centered on contro11mg _1 rerent types of "problem populations" within the framework
the therapeutic goals of the medica! treatment of mental illness. Of course, of what Ervmg Goffman called the "total institution." Sorne reservations
this not a "total" explanation of the theoretico-practical ensemble known as can b.~ e!res.sed a~_out Fo~caul~'s interpretation of the !u5pital général,
mental illness, but in my view it is a fundamental contribution to objective regarmng me u ate or IIS crea non, tne types of populations it served and th
knowledge of it. social tactics it utilized. ' e
This "history of the present" enables history to take a double look back. Fir_st of all, the date: Catherine de Medici founded an institution of this
It sheds light on how contemporary practices function, showing that thcv t)'Pe ~~,_1612;_ ~s of 1614 ~~ Hé\pital Saint-Laurent opened in Lyon to
continue to be structured by the effects of their heritage. But it also shed~ bouse mcorngtble begga~s ; Its rule combined work and obligatory prayer.
light on the entire development of the treatment of mental disorders, by So much for France. But m England the Bridewell was founded in 1554 in
showing that the history of this development began before its official birth. London, followed shortly thereafter by the Rasphuis in Amsterdam whi h
While the originators of the asylum clearly took issue with the then was soon imitated by over a dozen Dutch towns. 13 All of thes~ ec
- · , , b r- w re
dominant conception of confinement (the indignation caused by the fact hopttaux generaux erore the fact. To be sure, the Parisian establishment of
that the insane were treated like criminals and confined along with them 1657 was the result of a royal edict, which gave ita special cachet, and after
was decisive in the early nineteenth-century recognition of the need to 1662 the measure would spread to "all the cities and large towns of the
found ':Special institutions" having a therapeutic aim), they did not abolish Kingdom." Stijl, the ~ópital général was not an exclusive expression of royal
this heritage, but retained and reshaped it. "Therapeutic isolation" is power. ln~eed, an ed1ct of 1662 ordered cities to establish hOpitaux généraux
justified, as Esquirol said, by the "need to provide a distraction from under the1r own management and using local resources. The Company of
delirium" by breaking the sick person's attachment to social and familia! the Holy ·Sacrament, an organization of Catholic activists would also be
surroundings_H Sequestering those who are ill is no longer arbitrary; it has es~ecially involved in ~e establishment of the network of hbpitaux généraux,
. become a necessary condition for treatment. The confinement established wh1ch thus was not s1mply a creation ex nihilo of the power of the state
as the framework for the leprosarium, then the hópital général, is at once . !h~s _sort of shifting of central power to local powers and "privat~"
renewed and transformed. lt has beenrefashioned by new demands posed JUnsdi~tiO~s was not ~nique to. the hópital général. It was already in
by philanthropy and emerging medica! science. The undifferentiated space operatwn m the establishment of "municipal policies" in the sixteenth
of confinement has shattered, giving birth to institutions with different cen~ury. The innovations made in public assistance in various French towns
aims: the asylum, the beggars' hostel, and the prison. But each one also dunn~ th~ 1530s were repeated ona nationallevel by the royal ordinance of
retains a segregative aim. Mouhns m 1566. The same pattern can be seen in Flanders, where the
Could this type of analysis been produced by a "pure" historian? To ask . promulgated ~y Charles V in 1531 took responsibility for and
such a question is a way of succumbing to academic habits of analysis. \Vhat coordmated the mumcipal activities of Flemish and Dutch towns.
is certain is that Foucault was able to achieve it within the framework ofhis Thus ~o clean break occurred between the new strategy for confinement
problematization - that is, on the basis of hi~ sensitivity to the inherent a_nd earher forms of controlling the "poor and the beggars." In the
contradictions within contemporary psychiatry- and that this problematiza- SIXtee~t?. c~ntury public assistance was characte¡:ized by the development of
tion has enriched our knowledge of both the present and the past of thc ",local IDitlatlVes based on the municipality, which attempted to take on the
treatment of mental illness. ·¡burden of all of its less f()rtupate subjects, on condition that they were
:,~ under local1 communal jurisdiction. 14 Municipal assistance claimed -to be
(2) However, Foucault's treatment of historical material was not above ,~~rotecti?n ~ bas~d on domicile, which attempted to maintain community
reproach. Here 1 will limit my considerations to the theme of the "great , links With mha?Itants that poverty, lack of work, sickness, or. disability
confinement,'' whose place in L 'Histoire de la folie iswell known. Foucault ;lhreatened to d1slodge. According to Foucault, in the seventeenth century
took the edict promulgated by Louis XIV in 1657 "concerning the :Confinement would have the opposite, segregative, role: beggars and other
246 Robert Gaste! "Problematization" and Reading Histmy 247

categories likely to disturb public order were taken away fro 111 thc foucault; and the insane, like the vagrants, found themselves there in the
community and confined within an enclosed space. They were stripped of company of beggars, the sick and disabled, the nameless destitute,
their territoriality and excluded. ]íbertines, loose women, prisoners of ttte state, and so forth. Nonetheless,
However, this in,terpretation is contestable. The inhabitants of the h6pi!u/ ¡he original poiícy of confinement was not ségregative. Segregation from the
général were not so much severed from their community as displaced, that world by means of placement in the hOpital général was not maximal
is, transferred to a specially determined location where it was possible to exclusion from sociallífe. Beyond ít was the situation of vagrants, who had
continue to care for them. In fact, the resocialization of the inhabitams of no place anywhere, not even at the hópital général, and who were driven off,
the hópital général was supposed to take place through educationalmeans, in banished, condemned to the gaileys, and so on. Instead, confinement was
the form of prayer and forced labor. Hence confinement was viewed as a protection in the extreme, so extreme that it had become a contradiction of
kind of hiatus between a period of disorderly life during which the thís desire to provide public assistance.
community bond had been stretched, but not broken, and a period of Thus it can be seen that the discussion of the founding date of the hópital
recovery where, once the link was restored by prayer and work, the reclusc général ís not merely a question of historical chronology. Foucault makes
would once again find a place in the community. Thus the strategy of 1657 into a founding moment because he wishes to mark a shift in the
confinement is better understood as a form of continuity rather than strategies for controlling problem populations. To display this chronology
rupture with respect to communal policies of maintaining the social bond. It as historical documentation invites one to do is, on the contrary, to find the
became more difficult to provide protection in a direct way, no doubt continuity in these policies. Then the great confinement of the seventeenth
because the urban network grew more extensive and complex from thc century appears within the contell.'t of earlier strategies for controlling
sixteenth to the seventeenth centuries. Confinement was a new, more beggars who lived inside the community. An extreme and particularly
energetic (and more brutal) episode, but underlying it was the same aim: reprcssive version of municipal policy, it does not contradict the ciV:c
not to exclude, but as much as possible to include. However, since the at- intention to keep certain, but not all, categories of the population that
risk populations had become more threatened by complete desocialization, threaten the social order wíthin the bounds of the community.
a more radical form of assistance was required. Thus, confinement was an Do such details weaken Foucault's argument? No. It is still true that the
indirect route back to the community: a temporary break, not an end in hópital général quickly became a place in which all sorts of undesirables,
itself. including the insane, were kept apart from society. And this was no
This is borne out by the fact that the population originally targeted for accident: the crushing weight of the "total institution" turned the practices
confinement did not include those individuals who were considered ro be of resocialization, work, ilnd prayer that were to have taken place inside it
the least socialized, the leastdesirable, or the most dangerous- vagrants. At into a fiction. It is also true that at the end of the eighteenth century this
first the only persons confined in the hópital général were able-bodied structure carne apart without being abolished, giving rise among other
beggars or domiciled invalids who were still "living members of Jesus things to the insane asylum, which inherited its exclusionary function. So
16 the asylum reflects a line of continuity with the locus of confinement of the
Christ," as opposed to "useless niembers of the State." The rhetoric of
the time was saying that one must be considered part of the community to eighteenth century. But one could add that it also inherited the goal of
be eligible for the hópital général. The population barred from confinement resocialization that lay at the origin of the hópital général, which in this case
(not excluded by it) represented the paradigm of asociality and danger reflects the continuity of municipal policy. The "therapeutic isolation"
according to the standards of the time: vilgrants with no fi.xed abode or ~e~tioned above ¡merges as the riécessary means to carry out two
community ties. Ordered to leave town within three days, they were subjcct md1ssoluble operatwns: the need to confine the sick person in order "to
to brutal police measures that were and would continue to be dictated in provide a distraction from delirium," and the desire to treat the patient by
order to " deal with them. They were. not "worthy" of confinement, for. • thc~ creating a therapeutic space based on this .rupture with the outside world.
. . . . . . . . . .
were completely outside of the territorial boundaries of the commumty.

This "happy coincidence" 18 (in reality, carefully. wrought co~bi~ation)
To be sure, the reformers' utopía of confinement would cometo nothmg: reconciles the patient's interests with the need to maintain public order in
(but the same might be said of what we would call social policies in all rhc the presence of individuals who are perceived to be dangerous. The
. societies of the Old Regime). The hópital génáal soon began to housc fundamental importance of "moral treatment" within and by the asylum,
various cat~gories of undesirables together, a sítuaiion vividly portrayed 11l the t.lJ.erapeutic eq'uivalent of the work and prayer. of the. hópital généml, can
248 Robert Cas!el "Problematization" and Reading I-JisiOIJ' 249

be understood in this context. Foucault did not emphasize these techniqucs · community and from the arder of work. But this distinction does not apply
of inclusion because, in the case of the asylum as well as the hopital généra/
he was interested in their segregative functions. He was right to do so, give~
·1 only to the seventeenth century. If one considers the totality of what would

his goal of establishing the radical otherness of madness with. respect to the
l' 0 ow be termed social policies in the pre-industrial society of the Christian
l. West- regulations concerning begging and vagrancy, conditions in hospices
order of reason. From this standpoint, he had to insist on what, in the and ch.aritable establishments, efforts at forcing indigents to work, and so
emerging discipline of psychiatry, led to this otherness - the segregative .,i forth - one quickly notices that they all reveal this opposition between two
character of institutions and practices. Nevertheless, he fully laid out onh J types of populations. The first raises issues of assistance beca use of its links
one of the aims of the hopital général and the insane asylum, while th~ with the comrnunity, ami ihe second falls under ihe domain uf purely
interpretation of the historical data indicates that their segregative goal constabulary measures because it contains individuals lacking a fixed abode
could not be separated from their integrative intent. who were reputed to be resistant to work.
The emergence of this issue can also be dated. It took shape in the
middle of the fourteenth century, with the appearance of mobile popula-
III THE PERILS OF PROBLEl\1ATIZATION tions that no longer participated in the traditional workforce. The Statute of
Laborers, promulgated in 1349 by Edward III of England, was a response
I offer these comments about L 'Histoire de la folie for three reasons. First, to that situation. It attempted to fix the domíciles of manuallaborers in both
they illustrate sorne of the difficulties, which I first stated in abstract terrns, town and country, and condemned almsgiving to able-bodied indigents. It
of sorting through historical material, dating beginnings, and delineating marked the beginning of the ban on vagrancy, which would continue for
periods in order to construct a problematization. That Foucault's atternpt severa! centuries. But the articles in the Statute of Laborers were not
bears the brunt of sorne criticism is all the more significant because he is unique to England. In the years that followed, France, the kingdoms of
the unequaled master of this domai~. I do not have the audacity to claim to Portugal, Ca~tile, Arag1~' Bavaria,,and m1my Italia~ and ~len:ish town~ -:- a
correct bis work but simply wish to show how difficult it is to carry out his large proportwn of the developed Europe of the time - mstttuted pohctes
approach. . that based assistance on domicile, attempted to localize the workforce, and
Second, these adjustments also reflect the degree to which problematiza- condemned as vagrancy the mobility of able-bodied indigents.
tion depends on historical data. In this instance, a more exact historical Why bring up this historical data and reorganize it along í:he double axis
interpretation of the "great confinement" - at least if my own interpretation of public assistance and the obligation to work? Because today western
of it is correct- would have led Foucault to extend bis own problematiza- Europe exhibits a profile of populations, such as the long-term unemployed
tion to give a larger place to the other goal of confinement (but this and young people unable to enter the workforce, who occupy a position
correction does not undermine the cause or the project of problematization similar to that of the "useless to the world" in pre-industrial societies. They
itself or the overall outlines of the treatment Foucault gives it; on the basis are "supernumeraries," in the sense that they are unemployable- unable to ·
of the segregative function of total institutions, he discerned a powerful find an assigned place in the social organization because of current
interpretative grid - even if it is not the only one - that is valid for the economic and social changes. At the same time they pose a problem to
history of these institutions as well as for their contemporary structure). classic systems of social protection: they are ineligible for traditional forms
Third - and from a theoretical standpoint this is perhaps the most of assistance beca use they are capable of wotking; at the same time they are
interesting observation - the comments I make here are themselves the · not covered by insurance or other programs linked with employment
result of my own attempt at problematization. I have not played the part of because they do not work.
the historian that I am not with respect to Foucault but have ren~ad this The problem is both new and old. It is new, because during the 1960s
·historicaL material in light of a contemporary i.ssue as well. . western European societies thought that the risks. inherent in an unstable
I returned to the issue of the populations affected by the "great workforce had basically been eliminated, owing to the widespread solidity of
confinement" because it seemed important to distinguish between the the salaried condition, with its rights and guarantees; and they reserved
treatments given to two types of indigents. The first, having fixed domiciles, assistance for those who could not work. But this success relied on
might receive assistance. The second, stigmatized as vagrants, werc ,: continued economic growth and nearly. full employment. Today these
éonsidered "useless to the world," 19 and were doubly excluded: from the ' societies are confronted with a problem that seems totally new to them:
250 Robe1·t Gaste! "Problematization" and Reading Histmy 251

what to do with needy populations who do not work although they are formulation of the social question, which is based on the recent recognition
capable of it. For example, should such people receive a mínimum of how risks of exclusion have multiplied and forms of protection weakened
subsistence leve! of aid? Or should new policies be enacted, what in France for individuals and groups located at the o u ter edge of the workforce and on
are termed "policies of insertion," which · attempt to invent socialh the fringe of socially acknowledged forms of exchange. What sets these
recognized activities outside of the classical circuits for creating emp]oy~ situati?ns _apart - in otJler words, what do they have that is the same and
ment? what JS cJ¡fferent - frdm periods in the past when the condition of the
But this problem also pertains to old historical constants. Social masses was also marked by vulnerability and uncertainty? This is indeed
instability, the fact of living "from hand to mouth," and a haphazarcl part of the same problematization, if it is true that different answers have
relationship to work have almost always been the common lot of the been formulated and continue to be formulated on the basis of constants in
"people." Thus today's experience of social instability is paradoxical. In the haphazard nature of the relationship to employment and difficulty of
part it is new, because it is seen against the backdrop of social protection, finding a stable place in the ne.tworks of protection.
which formed the basis for the powerful social safety nets that have hecn I have taken the risk of outlining a work in progress. 21 The very least that
developed sin ce the nineteenth century. It is a product of the weakening of can occur when discussing a specific element of Foucault's work, despite
guarantees that had been progressively strengthened by the development of the admiration I have for him, is that I expose myself to criticism. "The
the welfare state. But today's lack of security is also an echo of earlit:r perils of problematization": every problematization carries with it a risk,
structural components of the condition of the disadvantaged classes: fragilc which now can be detailed more fully. It attempts a rereading of historical
ties to employment, the vulnerability that arises from constant uncertain~ material from the standpoint of categories - in this case, social categories
about the future. Is it possible to articulate what is new in today's social such as instability, vulnerability, protection, exclusion, insertion, and so
instability and what has been inherited from the past? This instabilit)' aml forth - that are not utilized by historians to organize their own corpus. In
the relationships to it have changed. But they have changed within thc other words, a problematization constructs another account from historical
framework of the same problematization. One can attempt to write a history data. But still it must be compatible with the accounts of historians. Thus a
of this unstable present by reconstructing the principies of historical problematization must satisfY two demands whose coexisten ce can itself be
transformation that have led to the contemporary situation. I have suggested a problem.
that this history began in the middle of the fourteenth century, or rather at First, it must contribute something to what has already been achieved by
the time when historical documentation detailed enough to make it possiblc a classical historical approach. This statement may seem to be a tautology:
to discern it began to appear. I have also suggested that one approach would if a problematization achieves the same insights as a historical approach,
be to follow the treatrnent of indigents who received assistance and vagrants there would be no reason to make a distinction between the two, or for it to
who were excluded. In fact, those receiving assistance, beggars, ami exist. But what are the standards needed to measure this "increase in
vagrants merely represent the extreme cases of the vulnerability of the knowiedge"? These criteria are not based on historical rigor alone. If the
masses, populations formed by the various fragmentary and unstable forms original aim of writing "the history of the present" is to con tribute to our
ofthe paid workforce in pre-industrial societies, then thelower strata ofthc knowledge of a current situation, it must be tested using other approaches
working classes at the beginning of industrialization, and now those "·ho to the present. For example, to what degree does Foucault's approach to
have been left aside by industrialization, who have recently been termed the the study of the treatment of mental illness enrich (or make it possible to
"Fourth World." lnstability does not áppear continuously like a historical criticize or compare) the discoveries made possible today by other
invariable. It is borne by different groups and treated in different ways. But approaches, such as empírica! soci()logy, the ethnography of psychiatric
it displays common traits: types that are chaiacterized by relationship to practices, or the administrative or professional literature of psychiatry, and
employment or absence of work or variously defined relationships to socwl so forth? Or, again, in what way does the interpretation suggested here
assistance or its absence. concerning the factors of dissociation affecting contemporary societies add
If the present is indeed a conjunction of the effects of the past and thc something to explanations that see in it only the effects of the current
effects of innovation, one ought to be able to discern the basis of thc economic crises, or of the recent weakening of the regulations of the
"disc\lrsive and non-discursive practices" that have formed it. In th~s welfare state?
instance, it is an attempt to recover the memory that structures tod<11 s B1lt there is a second criterion, at least as important as the first, for
252 Roberl Castel

judging the validity of a problematization. Wbat a given problematization

contributes to our knowledge of the present - if it contributes anything at
all - must not come at the price of our knowledge of the past. In other
words, to the extent that it is based on history, a problematization can be
refuted if it contradicts historical knowledge; and historians are the onlv
judges of t.~ a t. The right to choose one's materials and refocus them in light
of a current issue, to place them in different categories - sociological
categories, for example - is not permission to rewrite history. It is not a
right to make historical errors, which here can be understood as statements
about history that a historian could refute. So this rereading of historv
prohibits even the slightest modification of the data generated by historie;!
technique, not because these data are immutable but because altering them
belongs exclusively to the procedures of the historian's craft.
The compatibility of these two demands is not self-evident and must be
the object of discussion. And my chief intention here has been to introduce
a few elements that would serve in opening this debate, which concerns All unattributed translations have been done by the relevant contributors or
historians as well as those who formulare problematizations. their translators.

Translated by Paula Wissing INTRODUCTIO.N

The proceedings of the conference were published as !Vfichel Foucault philosophe:

Rencontre intemalionale, Paris, 9, 10, 11 }anvier 1988 (Paris: Seuil, 1988).
Despite the huge secondary literature on Foucault, the bibliography on this
subject is notably short. lt includes the fifty-page opening section of L 'Jmpossible
Prison: Recherches sur le sysleme pénitenliaire au XJXe siecle, ed. Michelle Perrot
(París: Seuil, 1980), which compares the theses of Discipline and Punish with the
findings of historians of medicine and of prisons; .Jan Goldstein, "Foucault
among the Sociologists: The 'Disciplines' and rhe History of the Professions,"
Hislo1y and The01y, 23 (1984), pp. 170-92; Allen Megill, "The Reception of
Foucault by Historians," Joumal ofthe Hisi01J' of Ideas, 48 (1987), pp. 117-41;
and Patricia O'Brien, "Michel Foucault's Historv of Culture" in The New
Cultural Hisi01J', ed. Lynn Hunt (Berkeley and Los Angeles; University of
California Press, 1989), pp. 25-46. Two anthologies featuring historians'
assessments of Histoire de la folie have recently appeared: see Penser la folie:
Essais sur Michd Foucaul! (París: Galilée, 1992) and Rewriling !he History of
Madness: Studies in Foucault 's Histoire de la folie, ed. Arthur Still and Irving
Velody (London: Routledge, 1992).
Thís is .as. much true in Fra:nce. as in the United S tates; as Jacques ·Revel
described the impact of The Birlh of !he Clinic on the French historical scene,
"There arose ... reflection about medicine, about the history of the .sick body,
about the history of the body tout court, that made explicit reference to Foucault
and to the Clinic book." Seé "Foucault et les historiens: Entretien avec Jacques
Revel," Magazine littéraire, 101 (June 1975), p. 10.
302 Notes pp. 232-4
Notes pp. 235-46 303
tation," Slavic Re7.'iew, 39 (1980), pp. 200-3. Elsewhere, Solomon has argued 47
See Laura Engelstein, "Reply," American Historical Rruiew, 98, 2 (1993), p. 380.
that the Soviet legal system at first encompassed a range of infractions formerly 48
N. N. Bazhenov, Psikhologiia i politika (Moscow, 1906), p. 6.
processed by administrative procedure under tsarist rule and only in 1925, as a
response to overloading in the courts, di verted many petty cases. to non-judicial
institutions; "Criminalization and Decriminalization in Soviet Criminal Policy, CHAPTER 13 "PROBLEMATIZATION" AS A MODE OF
1917-1941," Law and SocieiJ' Reviem, 16 (1981-2), pp. 10, 13. The operation of READING HISTORY
the administrative alternative was so arbitrary and ineffective, however, that the
relevant (petty) crimes were reassigned to the regular courts in the late 1930s; Mi che! Foucault, "I .e Souci de !a vérité," Magazine !ittémire, 207 (1984), p. ·18.
ibid., pp. 26-7, 35-7. But even befare 1925, when al! crime was in principie L '1mpossible Prison: Recherches sur le systeme pénite111iaire au XIXe sii:cle, e d.
handled by the regular courts, the political police ran its own (administrative) Michelle Perrot (Paris: Seuil, 1980), p. 47.
penal system for serious transgressions: Solomon, "Soviet Penal Policy," pp. Michel Foucault, Smveiller el punir: Naissance de la prison (Paris: Gallimard,
197, 200-1. In 1936, the regime reasserted the importance of the law as an 1975), p. 35; quoted from Discipline and Punish: The Birth ofthe Prison, tr. AJan
instrument of governance, rejecting the prevalen! hostility to the formal aspects Sheridan (New York: Pantheon, 1977), p. 31.
of the law (see Sharlet, "Pashukanis," p. 187), but this shift did not mean that Because historians do not undertake problematizations does not mean that they
"bourgeois" notions of legality (due process, equality befare the law, fair and are content merely to describe and to construct no theories. Great historians in
consistent punishment) were adopted or that recourse to administrative particular, such as Fernand Braudel, have a theory ofhistory and of its meaning
repression was abandoned. in the present, but this is not a problematization. It is possible to write history
39 for the present (and this is perhaps what every historian does) without writing a
G. R., "Protsessy gomoseksualistov," Ezhenedel'nik sovetskoi iustitsii, 33 (1922),
history of the present.
pp. 16-17.
40 Foucault, Surveiller et punir, p. 27; quoted from Discipline and Punish, p. 23.
See Laura Engelstein, 77u Keys lo Happiness: Sex and the Search for Modernity in 6
Michelloucault, Histoire de la sexualité, vol. 1: La Volo111é de savoir (Paris:
Fi;;-de-Sii:cle~Russia (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1992), ch. 2; also
Gallimard, 1976), p. 30; quoted from the History of Sexualil)', vol. 1: An
Engelstein, "Soviet Policy Toward MaJe Homosexuality: Its Origins and
lntroduction, tr. Robert Hurley (New York: Vintage, 1980), p. 21.
Historical Roots," Joumal of HomosexualilJ' 25, 3-4 (1994). 7
L 1mpossible Prison, ed. Perrot.
See Eric Naiman, "The Case of Chubarov Alley: Collective Rape, Utopian Ibid., p. 35.
Desire, and the Mentality of NEP," Russian History, 17 (1990), p. 7. 9
Ibid., p. 32.
Indeed, as reliance on legality weakened, psychiatry assumed a more central 10
Erving Goffinan, Asylums: Essays on tlze Social Situation of Mental Patinus and
role in Soviet legal proceedings; Sharlet, "Pashukanis," p. 179. Other Jnmates (New York: Anchor Books, 1961).
See Engelstein, "Soviet Policy toward MaJe Homose:Kuality." 11
J.-E.-D. Esquirol, "Mémoire sur í'isolement des aliénés," in Des maladies
For the issues in the debate, see Otchet desiatogo obslzchego sobraniia russkoi grupp)' mentales considérées sous les rapports médica!, lzvgiénique et médico-légal (Paris:
mezhdunarodnogo soiuza k1iminalisl!rv, 13-16 fevralia 1914 g. v Petrograde Bailliere, 1838), vol. 2, p. 413.
(Petrograd, 1916); for further documentation and discussion, see Laura Quoted in the appendi.x of the first edition of Michel Foucault, L 'Histoire de la
Engelstein, "Abortion and the Civic Order: The Legal.and Medica! Debates, folie a l'áge classique (Paris: Plon, 1961).
1911-1914," in Russia's Women: Accommodatioí1, Resistance, Transfonnatíon, ed. See Catherina Lis and Hugo Soly, Poverty and Capítalism in Pre-lndustrial
Barbara Alpern Engel, Barbara Evans Clements, and Christine D. Worobec Europe (Hassocks: Harvester Press, 1979).
(Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991). Cf., for example, Bronislaw Geremek; La Potence ou la pitié, French trans.
On abortión in the 1920s, see Wendy Goldman, "Women, Abortion, and the (París: Gallimard, 1987).
S tate, 1917-36," in Russia 's Women; also S usan Gross So1omon, "The [Translator's note: Here "protection" (French protection rapproclzée) is used to
Dem:ographic Argument in Soviet Debates over die Legalization of Aborrion in refer to early community-based forms of sócial assistance, while "sócial
the 1920s," Cahiers du monde russe et soviétique, 33 (1992), pp. 59-82. As in the protection" is used to designate the more abstract and centralized programs
developed by the módem state.] ·· ·
case of Bekhterev, continuíty was provided on a personal as well as. ideological 16
leve!. M. N. Gernet, who articulated the middle, "disciplinary" position in the Preamble to the Royal Edict of1657, reprinted in the first edition of Foucault,
L 'Histoire de la folie, p. 644.
pre-war debates, survived into the ·Soviet period as a distinguished legal 17
Thtis the following edict, in 1662, which orders the creation.of an hopital géné;·al
46 in "al! the cities and large towns of the Kingdom," reiterates the need for the
Quoted in Goldmari, "\Vomen, Abortion, and the State," p. 265.
confinement of domiciled beggars, but condemns vagrants to the galleys upon
304 No!es pp. 247-51

their first arrest, that is, after they have twice refused the "charitable" offer of
confinement in the hopital général; see A.-J.-L. Jourdan, Decrusy, and F.
Isambert, Rcmeil géuéral des anciennes lois de la Fmnce depuis l'an 420 jusqu 'a la
révolution de 1789, 29 vols (Paris: Berlin-le-Prieur, 1821-33), vol. 18, p. 18.
18 The phrase comes from the reporter of the law of 1838 concerning the insane
in the Chamber of Peers: ''At the same time that the isolation of the insane
protects the public from their delinquencies and their excesses, it presents the
most powerful means of healing in .the eyes of Science. A happv coincidence
that combines the patient's advantage with the general good in the application
of rigorous measures": Ministere de l'intérieur et des cultes, Législation sur les
aliénés el les enfants assistés (Paris, 1880), vol. 2, p. 316.
To cite the condemnation of a vagrant in the fifteenth century quoted by
Bronislaw Geremek, "He deserved to die as one useless to the world, that is, to
be hung like a thief'; see Les Marginaux Parisiem aux XJVe et XVe siedes (París:
Flammarion, 1976), p. 310.
The text from the order of Edward 1II is cited in C. J. Ribton-Turner, HistOI)' o{
Vagrants and Vagramy, and Beggars and Begging (1887; repr. Montclair, NJ: abortion, 11, 233-4 Bachelard, Gaston, 145
Patterson Smith, 1972), pp. 43-4. academies (eighteenth-century), 87, Bataille, Georges, 116, 123
Robert Castel, Les Metamorphoses de la question socia/e (forthcoming). The 204 Baudelaire, Charles, 69, 84
metaphor of metamorphosis is intended to translate this relationship between Ackerknecht, Erwin H., 137, 141, 149 Beaunis, Henri, 160
same and different, between past and novelty, which characterizes a problem- aesthetics of existence, 35-7, 67-9, beggars, 208, 245, 249-50
76-7 Bekhterev, Vladimir, 2}3
atization. The "social question" is the group of situations thro~gh which a
agency, 23, 81, 94, 111, 178, 180, Bichat, Xavier, 8, 141, 146
society experiences the risk of its fragmentation and attempts to deny it - hence
183, 185, 188, 193, 203, 209-10 bienfoisance, 210
the question of vagrancy in pre-industrial societies, that of destitution in the Binet, Alfred, 160
alienation, 119-20
early days of industrialization, or today's thematics of exclusion. Annales ESC 172 Binswanger, Ludwig, 118
antiquity, Greco-Roman, 4-5, 13, Traum und Existenz, 118
24-34, 35-59 biology, 8, 66, 101-2, 146, 151-64
apparatus (dispositifj, 21-3, 128, 130, bio-power, 8, 34, 114, 152, 207, 214
. 133, 19~ 194, 241, 243 Blanchot, Maurice, 123
archaeology, 7-8, 13-14, 57, 85, 117, Blum, Léon, 162
121, 123-4, 127, 130, 133-4, body, human, 21, 27-31, 33-4, 74,
141-4, 151, 173-4, 178, 186, 188 109, 113, 127, 146-7, 171, 223
Aristotle, 36, 38, 43-4, 50, 55 Boerhaave, Hermann, 141
Politics, 43, 55 Braudel, F ernand, 172
Asclepius, 79 Broussais, Fran<;ois Joseph Víctor,
askesis, 5, 37-8, 41-3, 69-70, 72-3
assistance, p1,1blic, 12, 141, 206-7, bureaucracy, see state, administrative
210-12, 245-7, 249-50 Calpurnia, 45, 48, 50-1
asylum, 122, 244, 247-8 Canguilhem, Georges, 8, 115, 142-4,
Athens, 28, 37:-40, 42 152, 158
Auenbrugger, Leopold, 146-7 categorical imperative, 91-2
Aujhebung, 14 · · causality, 169-71, 174-7, 180-1, 185,
Aujkliirung, 83, 177 188-90, 192-3, 198, 203-7, 216
see also Enlightenment Certeau, Michel de, 9, 13, 184, 186
author, 87-90, %-8, 167-9, 183-4 Chamber of Peers, 105
author-function, 168, 183 . charity, 10, 206, 249
autopsy, 146 Charriere, 1sabelle de, 85-6, 88-9