Michel Foucault: Free Lectures on Truth, Discourse & The Self (UC Berkeley, 1980–1983)

Image by Nemo­main, via Wiki­me­dia Com­mons

Michel Fou­cault (1926–1984) was an enor­mous­ly influ­en­tial French philoso­pher who wrote, among oth­er things, his­tor­i­cal analy­ses of psy­chi­a­try, med­i­cine, the prison sys­tem, and the func­tion of sex­u­al­i­ty in social orga­ni­za­tions. He spent some time dur­ing the last years of his life at UC Berke­ley, deliv­er­ing sev­er­al lec­tures in Eng­lish. And hap­pi­ly they were record­ed for pos­ter­i­ty:

These last lec­tures are also avail­able on YouTube (in audio for­mat).

One of Fou­cault’s more con­tro­ver­sial and mem­o­rable books was Dis­ci­pline and Pun­ish (1977), which traced the tran­si­tion from the 18th cen­tu­ry use of pub­lic tor­ture and exe­cu­tion to–less than 50 years later–the preva­lence of much more sub­tle uses of pow­er, with a focus on incar­cer­a­tion, reha­bil­i­ta­tion, pre­ven­tion, and sur­veil­lance.

Here he is in 1983 com­ment­ing on that book (thanks for the link to Seth Paskin). The Par­tial­ly Exam­ined Life pod­cast recent­ly dis­cussed the book with Katharine McIn­tyre, doc­tor­al can­di­date at Colum­bia. Fou­cault’s image of the panop­ti­con well cap­tures mod­ern pri­va­cy con­cerns in the elec­tron­ic age.

Final­ly, we leave you with a School­house Rock-style pre­sen­ta­tion of Fou­cault’s book The His­to­ry of Sex­u­al­i­ty, Vol­ume 1 and some vin­tage video of Fou­cault’s 1971 debate with Noam Chom­sky. Fou­cault’s lec­tures have been added to our list of Free Phi­los­o­phy Cours­es, part of our big col­lec­tion, 1,700 Free Online Cours­es from Top Uni­ver­si­ties.

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Mark Lin­sen­may­er runs the Par­tial­ly Exam­ined Life phi­los­o­phy pod­cast and blog. He also per­forms with the Madi­son, WI band New Peo­ple.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Jacques Lacan, Aca­d­e­m­ic Rock Star, Gives a Pub­lic Lec­ture, 1972

Lovers and Philoso­phers — Jean-Paul Sartre & Simone de Beau­voir Togeth­er in 1967

Phi­los­o­phy with a South­ern Drawl: Rick Rod­er­ick Teach­es Der­ri­da, Fou­cault, Sartre and Oth­ers

100 Free Online Phi­los­o­phy Cours­es (Part of Our List of 875 Free Cours­es Online)

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Comments (18)
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  • claudia says:

    gra­cias por este sitio.

  • claudia says:

    quiero recibir actualizaciones..gracias.

  • Camy says:

    Thanks for shar­ing. I feel grate­ful to have dis­cov­ered this source of ende­less Knowl­edge and Cul­ture. I am going to lis­ten Fou­cault lec­tures asap. To me he’s one of the most enlight­ed thinker of our times.

  • Marcelo Martu00ednez Cuevas says:

    Great job you’re doing here!!… just a lit­tle mis­take, the panop­ti­con isn’t Fou­cault’s but Ben­tham’s, although Fou­cault did talk about it… keep the good work!

  • Marcelo Martu00ednez Cuevas says:

    Great job you’re doing here!!… just a lit­tle mis­take, the panop­ti­con isn’t Fou­cault’s but Ben­tham’s, although Fou­cault did talk about it… keep the good work!!

  • magdalena says:

    Are the Berke­ley links not work­ing or is it just me?

  • red says:

    a great source of enter­tain­ment; many thanx. That one of the great­est can be brought for­ward by tech­nol­o­gy and not only in read­ing.… very very rare

  • Cindy Forshaw says:

    Stop nit-pick­ing. We know you’re smart. Who cares who said it…Just know it.

  • Cindy Forshaw says:

    This in wrong spot …is addressed to the per­son who coun­ters that Fou­cault did­n’t sug­gest the con­cept of The Panop­ti­con. My teach­ings say he did any­way. That’s why I say again: “Stop nit-pick­ing”. Ben­tham …Foucault.…Take the info…fascinating con­cept and stop ‘lev­el­ling’ peo­ple.

  • Mahrukh Bokhari says:

    You are doing a won­der­ful job. Keep up the good work.

  • Pedro del Rio says:

    There nobody says that it is a con­cept of his, but the image that Fou­cault has of this idea.

  • Janie Massry says:

    Open Cul­ture is an incred­i­ble way to review what you know
    Learn what you nev­er knew
    Open your mind
    I send this site to many friends and fam­i­ly

  • Jaylaxmi jadeja says:

    Inter­est­ed in receiv­ing con­tent from open cul­ture.

  • Jack and Daneil says:

    What con­tent would you like?

  • pat says:

    I does mat­ter that the his­to­ry of ideas is accu­rate. It is not nit picking.Your teach­ings can say what­ev­er you decide you want them to be, but do make them accu­rate.

  • Rajendra Prasad Koirala says:

    I am from Nepal I have read sev­er­al arti­cles and essays on any philo­soph­i­cal issues by Michael Fou­cault. Lis­ten­ing to him live will be like my dream come true.

    With best regards,
    Rajen­dra Prasad Koirala

  • Rajendra Prasad Koirala says:

    Look­ing for­ward to , impa­tient­ly.

  • golam mostofa says:

    That’s good but, look­ing for­ward to your next post

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