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Before Foucault

Roy Porter, 25 January 1990

The Normal and the Pathological 
by Georges Canguilhem, translated by Carolyn Fawcett and Robert Cohen.
Zone, 327 pp., £21.95, June 1989, 0 942299 58 2
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... were being analysed, with great perspicacity, by the French philosopher and historian of science, Georges Canguilhem, in a work written in 1943 and now gratifyingly back in print in an English translation. In a nutshell, The Normal and the Pathological is a sustained protest against what Canguilhem saw as medicine’s ...


Sherry Turkle: Lacan and Co, 6 December 1990

Jacques Lacan and Co: A History of Psychoanalysis in France, 1925-1985 
by Elisabeth Roudinesco, translated by Jeffrey Mehlman.
Free Association, 816 pp., £25, December 1990, 9781853431630
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... of the worlds beyond psychoanalysis. In its issues, Lacan appeared with writers such as Georges Canguilhem. Althusser, Derrida and Georges Dumézil. Politically, the reference to an objective science meant that adversaries could be identified and labelled ‘deviationist’ in relation to a pure and absolute ...

Where Life Is Seized

Adam Shatz: Frantz Fanon’s Revolution, 19 January 2017

Écrits sur l’aliénation et la liberté 
by Frantz Fanon, edited by Robert Young and Jean Khalfa.
La Découverte, 688 pp., £22, October 2015, 978 2 7071 8638 6
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... were the first three words he learned to spell. After the fall of France in 1940, Admiral Georges Robert, high commissioner for the French West Indies – known to locals as Tan Robé – threw in his lot with Pétain. Two French warships were blockaded in the harbour at Fort-de-France, leaving several thousand white French sailors idle. For the next ...

Making Up People

Ian Hacking: Clinical classifications, 17 August 2006

... There are many diagnostic questionnaires, but it’s hard to quantify deficits. 3. Norms. Georges Canguilhem’s The Normal and the Pathological (1943) showed how medicine acquired the concept of normalcy not long after 1800. Many of our examples are deviations from the norm, for better (genius) or worse (obesity). ...

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