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TALKING HUMANITIES – Michel Foucault: The Birth of the Clinic

Thursday 24 February at 7 pm - TALKING HUMANITIES – Michel Foucault: The Birth of the Clinic


The discussion with the philosopher Dr Mladen Dolar on Foucault's key work The Birth of the Clinic opening up the first chapter in the history of engineering the mankind, which has set to manage both bodies and souls. Also mentioned was the new Dolar's study on Foucault, To Behead the King, which was published recently by Krtina publishing house. The discussion was hosted by Matic Majcen.

Alongside the The History of Madness and Discipline and Punish, The Birth of the Clinic represents the second part of Foucault's introductory trilogy. In the final years of the 18th century, the clinic underwent a curious transformation. “It acquired its own working field no longer limited only to where value is being expressed, but coextensively to where the knowledge is being born, tested and expanded; it was supposed to become one with the medical experience as a whole.” Michel Foucault uses a thick network of references and his analytic brilliance to reconstruct the circumstances and consequences of the radical historical shift, in which the so-called clinical gaze emerges. This is preconditioned by a changed attitude towards language and death, the visible and the utterable, whereas the establishment of pathological anatomy brings the culmination of the new knowledge on the sick individual. The findings and changes in clinical methods of the time have been marking medicine and natural sciences up till now and co-determining the fundamental dispositions of our knowledge. More than just an exceptional (and exceptionally written) case study, The Birth of the Clinic provides intriguing instructions on how to read our today through the prism of metamorphoses of knowledge in the history of ideas.

Talking humanities is a series of discussions on books published by Študentska založba within its Koda book series.

The event has been organised in cooperation with Študentska založba.

Photos (author Boštjan Lah)















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