Saturday, February 04, 2006

Son of What is History

The past has always been the handmaid of authority.
- J.H. Plumb

The voice of history is often little more than the organ of hatred or flattery.
- Edward Gibbon

[History is] little more than the register of the crimes, follies and misfortunes of mankind.
- Edward Gibbon

The history of thought, and therefore all history, is the re-enactment of past thought in the historian's own
- R. G. Collingwood

Nothing capable of being memorized is history.
- R. G. Collingwood

History is always written wrong, and so always needs to be rewritten.
- George Santayana

The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.
- L. P. Hartley

There is no history, only histories.
- Karl Popper

Pour faire de l'histoire, il faut savoir compter.
- Georges Lefebvre

History to be above evasion must stand on documents not on opinion.
- Lord Acton

History is the great propagator of doubt.
- A.J.P. Taylor

To enable man to understand the society of the past and to increase his mastery over the society of the present is the dual function of history.
- E.H. Carr

History thrives on generalizations.
- E.H. Carr

The study of history is the study of causes.
- E.H. Carr

Friday, February 03, 2006

What is History?

While teaching Historiography and Ancient History (as well as English Language and Literature) in secondary and teriary institutions, I have collected a large number of quotations relating to the central question of Historiography, "What is History?". They represent a very wide range of views on what the answer to that question might be. I will post some of them here, beginning with this Baker's Dozen, and continue posting more every week or so at my main blog, Domus Carataci.
"The past is a place of fantasy."
-Hayden White

Hardly a pure science, history is closer to animal husbandry than it is to mathematics, in that it involves selective breeding. The principal difference between the husbandryman and the historian is that the former breeds sheep or cows or such, and the latter breeds (assumed) facts. The husbandryman uses his skills to enrich the future; the historian uses his to enrich the past. Both are usually up to their ankles in bullshit."
- Tom Robbins

Historians and economists (subsidized by governments) are very good at creating and perpetuating myths that justify increasing the power placed in the hands of government.
- Reuven Brenner

Anyone who believes you can't change history has never tried to write his memoirs.
- David Ben Gurion

History may be divided into three movements: what moves rapidly, what moves slowly and what appears not to move at all.
- Fernand Braudel (1902-1985)

The historian has before him a jigsaw puzzle from which many pieces have disappeared. These gaps can be filled only by his imagination.
- Gaetano Salvemini, Historian and Scientist

History is a pack of lies about events that never happened told by people who weren't there.
- George Santayana

It might be a good idea if the various countries of the world would occasionally swap history books, just to see what other people are doing with the same set of facts.
- Bill Vaughan

Some write a narrative of wars and feats,
Of heroes little known, and call the rant
A history.
- William Cowper, The Task, The Garden

More history's made by secret handshakes than by battles, bills, and proclamations.
- John Barth, The Sot-Weed Factor

I am well aware that I have not written anything but fictions… which is not to say they have nothing to do with the truth.
- Michel Foucault

Since God himself cannot change the past, He is obliged to tolerate the existence of historians.
- Samuel Butler

Thursday, August 18, 2005

The Crusades — Campaigns of the Cross?

Debate 2 Motivations of Crusaders: Runciman, Constable, Bull, Jones

Sir Steven Runciman


The Hon. Sir Steven Runciman, CH, FBA, born July 7th, 1903, died November 1st, 2000; Professor of Byzantine Art and History, Istanbul University, 1942-45. President of the British Institute of Archaeology at Ankara 1962-95; of the Association Internationale des Etudes Byzantines 1966-2000; and of The Society for the Promotion of Byzantine Studies 1983-2000.

Second son of Viscount Runciman of Doxford. Educated at Eton and Trinity College Cambridge. Diplomat in Turkey and Egypt during World War II. Held many university appointments in Great Britain and America. Knighted in 1958. His three volume History of the Crusades published in 1954 was for many years the authoritative interpretation. He follows Gibbon’s line of condemnation of the Crusades.

His background as a Byzantinist influenced his view of the Crusades, in that he saw the Crusades from an Eastern point of view rather than the Western crusaders’ point of view. He is often praised for his elegant prose style.

Quotations from Runciman’s History of the Crusades

The genuine faith of some crusaders was often combined with unashamed greed. Few Christians have ever thought it incongruous to combine God’s work with the acquisition of material advantages. That the soldiers of God should extract territory from the infidel was right. It was justifiable to rob the heretic and the schismatic also. Worldly ambitions helped to produce the gallant adventurousness on which so much of the early success of the movement was based. But greed and lust for power are dangerous masters. They breed impatience; for man’s life is short and he needs quick results. They breed jealousy and disloyalty; for offices and possessions are limited, and it is impossible to satisfy every claimant. There was a constant feud between the Franks already established in the East and those that came to fight the infidel and to seek their fortune. Each saw the war from a different point of view. In the turmoil of envy, distrust and intrigue, few campaigns had much chance of success. Quarrels and inefficiency were enhanced by ignorance. The colonists slowly adapted themselves to the ways and climate of the Levant; they began to learn how their enemies fought and how to make friends with them. But the newly-come Crusader found himself in an utterly unfamiliar world, and he was usually too proud to admit his limitations. He disliked his cousins of Outremer and would not listen to them. So expedition after expedition made the same mistakes and reached the same sorry end.

…It was indeed less remarkable that the Crusading movement faded away in failure than that it should ever have met with success.

The triumphs of the Crusade were the triumphs of faith. But faith without wisdom is a dangerous thing. By the inexorable laws of history the whole world pays for the crimes and follies of each of its citizens. In the long sequence of interaction and fusion between Orient and Occident out of which our civilization has grown, the Crusades were a tragic and destructive episode. The historian as he gazes back across the centuries at their gallant story must find his admiration overcast by sorrow at the witness that it bears to the limitations of human nature. There was so much courage and so little honour, so much devotion and so little understanding. High ideals were besmirched by cruelty and greed, enterprise and endurance by a blind and narrow self-righteousness; and the Holy War itself was nothing more than a long act of intolerance in the name of God, which is the sin against the Holy Ghost.

Comments on Runciman

1. Madden
It is easy for moderns to dismiss the crusades as morally repugnant, cynically evil, or as Runciman summed them up, "nothing more than a long act of intolerance in the name of God." Yet such judgements tell us more about the observer than the observed. They are based on uniquely modern (and, therefore, western) values. If from the safety of our desk we are quick to condemn the medieval crusader, we should be mindful that he would be just as quick to condemn us. Our infinitely more destructive wars waged for the sake of political and social ideologies would, in his opinion, be lamentable wastes of human life. In both societies, the medieval and the modern, men fight for what is most dear to them. That is a fact of human nature that is not so changeable.

2. Madden
It was in the Enlightenment of the eighteenth century that the current view of the Crusades was born. Most of the philosophes, like Voltaire, believed that medieval Christianity was a vile superstition. For them the Crusades were a migration of barbarians led by fanaticism, greed, and lust. Since then, the Enlightenment take on the Crusades has gone in and out of fashion. The Crusades received good press as wars of nobility (although not religion) during the Romantic period and the early twentieth century. After the Second World War, however, opinion again turned decisively against the Crusades. In the wake of Hitler, Mussolini, and Stalin, historians found war of ideology—any ideology —distasteful. This sentiment was summed up by Sir Steven Runciman in his three-volume work, A History of the Crusades (1951-54). For Runciman, the Crusades were morally repugnant acts of intolerance in the name of God. The medieval men who took the cross and marched to the Middle East were either cynically evil, rapaciously greedy, or naively gullible. This beautifully written history soon became the standard. Almost single-handedly Runciman managed to define the modern popular view of the Crusades.

Thomas Madden

3. Obituary, The Times of London
His most important work, the three- volume History of the Crusades, took a more sceptical line than any previous Western historian, and was freshly informed by a reading of Islamic sources. Two hundred years earlier Gibbon had portrayed the crusades as doomed romantic escapades, and wrote of "the triumph of barbarism and superstition". But in Runciman's eyes the crusaders were not a chivalrous host who captured but failed to keep the Holy Land: they were the final wave of the barbarian invaders who had destroyed the Roman Empire. They completed this work by destroying the real centre of medieval civilisation and the last bastion of antiquity, Constantinople and the Byzantine Empire. In charting the medieval phase of the endless struggle between East and West in the Middle East, Runciman's sympathies were unambiguously with Byzantium against the bigots and wreckers of the West. His final judgment of the whole enterprise set a standard of self-laceration which British historians have since struggled to surpass: "High ideals were besmirched by cruelty and greed, enterprise and endurance by a blind and narrow self-righteousness; and the Holy War itself was nothing more than a long act of intolerance in the name of God, which is a sin against the Holy Ghost."

4. The obituary from the Daily Telegraph.

Sir Steven Runciman, who has died aged 97, was the pre-eminent historian of the Byzantine Empire and of the Crusades; he was also a celebrated aesthete, gentleman scholar and repository of the civilised values of Edwardian times. His magnum opus was the three-volume A History of the Crusades, published between 1951 and 1954. In its preface Runciman set out his credo, one that derived from Gibbon, and stressed the claims of grand narrative over narrow analysis: "I believe that the supreme duty of the historian is to write history, that is to say, to attempt to record in one sweeping sequence the greater events and movements that have swayed the destinies of man." For Runciman, the Crusades were not romantic adventures but the last of the barbarian invasions, albeit ones that brought about the dominance of Western civilisation. His opinion was partly determined by his sympathy for the Byzantine Empire, often at odds with the Crusaders and an oasis of culture surrounded by unappreciative savages….

It was, however, his great History of the Crusades (1951, 1952 and 1954), that made Runciman known to a much wider public. No adequate history in English existed when he began, and he broke with his French predecessors by telling the story not just from the viewpoint of the West, but also as Islam and Constantinople had seen it. To do this he drew on Greek, Armenian and Muslim texts, as well as on more modern sources. The book is a model of narrative history. The three volumes are each divided into five parts, so that the reader primarily interested in one facet of the story can find his way without difficulty. But Runciman was uninterested in historiography. Not for him the sociological techniques, the excursions into demography, geography and economics of the Braudel school of history. He told the tale, he was readable, and his account was authoritative - a standard work for years to come.

Hooray for the Crusades! Piers Paul Read

THE PREVAILING VIEW of the Crusades has, until now, been damning. The philosophers of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment, who dismissed Christian belief as superstition, ridiculed these wars fought in the name of Christianity. The Scottish skeptic, David Hume, thought them "the most signal and most durable monument to human folly that has yet appeared in any age or nation." Denis Diderot's (a French philosophe of the Enlightenment) Encyclopedie, published in 1772, said they were inspired by greed, imbecility, and "false zeal." The same strain of contempt continues through Edward Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire to our near contemporary, Sir Steven Runciman, who concluded his monumental History of the Crusades with the judgement that they were "nothing more than a long act of intolerance in the name of God, which is the sin against the Holy Ghost."

Giles Constable (contemporary)

Context: contemporary British academic

Charter studies have been around for a long time
• Only relatively recently though have historians been able to focus new computer technologies on these copious and scattered documents to organise and evaluate them
• Giles Constable is one of the pioneers in the field of crusader charter studies (“Mediaeval Charters as a Source for the History of the Crusades”)

Among the most interesting and fruitful new directions in crusade scholarship is the use of charters as a source
• Many thousands of these legal documents survive in Europe
• With mediaeval charters the historian can come closer to hearing the voices of individual crusaders, thus revealing more about their identities, conditions and motivations
• Giles Constable assesses the advantages and possible problems with charters as a source for the crusades
• One of the obstacles to charter studies is the inherently scattered nature of documents related to crusading
• Collecting a small number of them can take many years

Constable’s own collection of crusade charters sheds light on several aspects of the movement
• He finds that crusading in the 12th and early 13th centuries was not differentiated from pilgrimage
• As pilgrims, crusaders emphasized the spiritual when describing their decision to take the cross
• This, Constable argues, was not mere formula nor the invention pf monastic scribes, but a real reflection of crusader motivations
• While accepting that baser motives played some role, Constable maintains that mediaeval crusaders were by and large moved by the desire to do penance for sinfulness, rescue the Christians of the East, and redeem the Holy Sepulchre, just as they expressed in the charters they left behind

From Thomas Madden, Introduction, The Crusades: Essential Readings

Marcus Bull (contemporary)

Context: contemporary British academic

Marcus Bull who conducted his own charter studies in southwestern France, argues (“The Roots of Lay Enthusiasm for the Crusades”) that the decisions of these families were conditioned by their long association with monastic houses
• A fundamental component among aristocratic families was their lavish patronage of these institutions, linked closely to their desire for eternal salvation
• Long-standing acts of piety therefore were translated into crusading when monasteries themselves, always the link between reformers and the military elite, urged them to take up the cross
• The financial sacrifices of crusading were great, yet Bull argues that it was an essential element of the culture of piety among the elite to make them

Like Constable and Riley-Smith, Marcus Bull’s research into mediaeval charters has uncovered a strong current of pious devotion that motivated crusaders to take the cross
• The crusades were primarily a religious movement
• As Riley-Smith shows, economic factors played little role in crusader motivations
• The First Crusade was a pilgrimage and a great act of self-sacrifice all rolled into one

From Thomas Madden, Introduction, The Crusades: Essential Readings

Terry Jones


Terry Jones was born in Colwyn Bay, North Wales. His father was a bank clerk. He studied at St. Edmund Hall College, Oxford University. In 1965, with his friend Michael Palin, he made 'The Love Show' for television, which was his first success. Also, he wrote for many other TV shows, such as: 'The Kathy Kirby Show', 'Late Night Line-Up' (with Palin), "Complete and Utter History of Britain" (1969) (with Palin). But Jones' greatest success was zany "Monty Python's Flying Circus" (1969) (1969-74) (with Palin, Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Giliiam and Eric Idle).

[PCS} Terry Jones television series The Crusades follows Runciman’s and Gibbon’s hostile interpretation. One way to explain this might be to see Jones and the Monty Python comedy team as pioneers of Post Modernism, which is itself in some ways indebted to the Enlightenment. Jones’ audience will tend to be cynical and not entirely serious, so an interpretation which deflates or criticizes the high seriousness of the Crusaders will appeal to them.

It is important to bear in mind that this is a television series, and the visual nature of the medium will influence much of the material (and interpretations?) that are selected by the composers. Because a great deal is being covered in a short time, over-simplification may occur when complex issues are considered. Perhaps there will be a tendency to present situations in terms of heroes and villains.

From the Internet

Politically correct, funny, and informative.
This documentary is so funny, it is almost cruel. After all, the Crusades were very serious affairs (God, country, heathens, invasions, and so on), so what is Terry Jones of "Monty Python" fame doing here, leading the new barbarians of the West in a Quest for the Greater Glory of God and a little bit of plunder? Well, he, and the whole BBC-A&E production team, are taking us to a journey Eastward, retracing the steps of the medieval pilgrim-soldiers, ignorant peasants and nobles alike who invaded Levant because they were religious zealots, greedy, and unscrupulous. Does this sound a bit one-sided? It is, and that is the only problem with this very entertaining and educational documentary: in their attempt to be fair to the Arab/Moslem side, the producers have ended up taking sides, which is not very susprising since the historical bulk comes from the late Sir Steven Runciman, one of the most respected and most widely read historians of the Crusades, whose bias against the "Franks" and for the Byzantines, is evident once one reads his great "History of the Crusades." Jonathan Riley-Smith attempts to balance the story with his commentaries, and it is no secret that his sympathies are with the Crusaders, but the program is structured in such a way that not even Riley-Smith's input saves it from being tilted. Terry Jones is simply outstanding with his British (Welsh) accent and deadpan humor as the perfect guide in this tour.
The Crusades were far more complicated than the simplistic Bad Guys (ignorant Europeans/Christians) against the Good Guys (enlightened Arabs/Moslems) picture would make us believe. Historical perspective helps us see the Crusades as a chapter in the (sometimes quite deadly) embrace of two world religions. Long periods of peace are punctuated by terrible periods of war and invasion. The Moslems got the ball rolling when they invaded the Christian lands of North Africa, Spain, and the Byzantine Empire. It took a while for the Christians to counterattack (just as it took a --shorter-- while for the Moslems to react to the Crusaders). When the Christians finally went on the offensive, their timing was not the best, and their choice of tactics was very questionable. Christendom was extremely intolerant back then, so everybody who was not a Christian, and many who were the "wrong" kind of Christian, were immediately suspect and dealt with mercilessly. What the program fails to mention is that Europe always had voices of dissent, and not all Crusaders were murdering barbarians, as not all Popes were conniving greedy zealots. The program also fails to provide the true historical setting of the Crusades: after the Crusaders were defeated, the Moslem world advanced into Europe from the East and South, and it remained in Western Europe (Iberian Peninsula) until the late 15th century. It was not until the late 17th century that the Ottoman Turks retreated from the siege of Vienna. The Crusades were a chapter in this stormy relationship of European Christianity and Islam. The producers of the documentary would have served their viewers better by being less politically correct. The slef-flagellation is appropiate and even funny in the hands of Terry Jones, but sometimes too much of a good thing is just too much.
Still, "Crusades" is an excellent program, mostly because I am sure it will interest people who otherwise would have never bothered with medieval history or the Crusades in particular.

Comments on Terry Jones’ The Crusades


The crusades are quite possibly the most misunderstood event in European history. Ask a random American about them and you are likely to see a face wrinkle in disgust, or just the blank stare that is usually evoked by events older than six weeks. After all, weren't the crusaders just a bunch of religious nuts carrying fire and sword to the land of the Prince of Peace? Weren't they cynical imperialists seeking to carve out colonies for themselves in faraway lands with the blessings of the Catholic Church? A couch potato watching the BBC/A&E documentary on the crusades (hosted by Terry Jones of Monty Python fame no less) would learn in roughly four hours of frivolous tsk-tsk-ing that the peaceful Muslim world actually learned to be warlike from the barbaric western crusaders.

Thomas F. Madden


Since the 1970s the Crusades have attracted many hundreds of scholars who have meticulously poked, prodded, and examined them. As a result, much more is known about Christianity’s holy wars than ever before. Yet the fruits of decades of scholarship have been slow to enter the popular mind. In part this is the fault of professional historians, who tend to publish studies that, by necessity, are technical and therefore not easily accessible outside of the academy. But it is also due to a clear reluctance among modern elites to let go of Runciman’s vision of the Crusades. And so modern popular books on the Crusades—desiring, after all, to be popular—tend to parrot Runciman. The same is true for other media, like the multi-part television documentary, The Crusades (1995), produced by BBC/A&E and starring Terry Jones of Monty Python fame. To give the latter an air of authority the producers spliced in a number of distinguished Crusade historians who gave their views on events. The problem was that the historians would not go along with Runciman’s ideas. No matter. The producers simply edited the taped interviews cleverly enough that the historians seemed to be agreeing with Runciman. As Professor Jonathan Riley-Smith quite vehemently told me, “They made me appear to say things that I do not believe!”

Thomas Madden

Anticolonialism and Political Correctness

In short, an aging collection of anticolonial sentiments has merged with mild political correctness (opposition to violence, skepticism toward Western religious traditions and practices, concern for social issues reflecting race, gender, class, and ethnicity) to dominate current historiography of the Crusades.

This is prominently reflected in the film media, most notably in Kevin Costner's Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves and Terry Jones's History of the Crusades.1 It is also somewhat out of touch with Generation X. My students prefer Errol Flynn's Robin Hood to Costner's and enjoy Men in Tights. Jones's much better but strongly antiwar BBC series praised Baibar's use of slave troops against the crusaders. What would he have said if crusaders had adopted that practice? On the whole, Jones is far the better scholar (and arguably the better actor), but he remains a child of the sixties--like so many of us who are active teachers today.

William Urban

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

The Sydney Line

Foucault as Historian

Keith Windschuttle

Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, Vol 1, No 2, Summer 1998, pp 5-35; also published in Robert Nola (ed.) Foucault, Frank Cass Publishers, London, 1998

In 1966, Michel Foucault attracted a great deal of academic attention by coining the phrase 'the death of man'. His obvious allusion to Nietzsche's well-known proclamation of the end of religion in the phrase 'the death of God' drew a considerable notoriety to himself and to the then burgeoning school of 'anti-humanism'. By 'the death of man', Foucault wrote in his book The Order of Things, he meant the end of the humanist concepts of man as a creature ruled by reason and of history as a phenomenon governed by the decisions of powerful individuals. [1] Instead, history was a process without a subject. Not only did men not make their own history but the concept of 'man' itself, he argued, was passé.

Foucault shared this thesis with other anti-humanist thinkers of the time, including the Annales school of French historians, all of whom regarded history as being driven by forces far more powerful than those of any individual. Anti-humanism's main proposition was that the autonomy of the individual subject was an illusion. The humanist tradition had been wrong to assign the central roles of human affairs to the conscious mind and free will. Instead, some strands of anti-humanism claimed that human behaviour and thought were dominated by the unconscious, and hence humanists should abandon their assumption that purposive behaviour was consciously directed. Others, like the Annales school, held that the impersonal forces of geography and demography governed the destiny of mankind.

At the same time, Foucault believed the historian could not avoid the role of political activist. All knowledge exuded power, he insisted, so the knowledge produced by the historian must serve political ends, of one kind or another. Most historians, he claimed, were traditionalists who supported the established regime. However, he also identified 'the new historian', someone who could help foster an 'insurrection of subjugated knowledges' opposed to what he called 'the centralising powers which are linked to the institution and functioning of an organised scientific discourse within a society such as ours'. [2] In the 1970s Foucault claimed this insurrection was being led by outcast groups struggling against authority, especially psychiatric patients and prisoners.

At the time he proclaimed these ideas, Foucault himself was engaged in the radical prison activist movement, attending meetings and offering advice. He argued that the 'local knowledges' of groups such as prisoners were crude responses to their immediate situation. They lacked any historical knowledge of predecessors who might have emulated their deeds. So their demands needed to be supplemented by the interpretations of a sympathetic academic like himself-a person he defined as 'the specific intellectual'-to unite his 'erudite, historical knowledges' with the 'disqualified knowledges' of the outcasts. This union would produce 'subjugated knowledge' or a 'historical knowledge of struggles', that was formidable enough to challenge the power of those sciences which sided with authority. [3]

In his 1971 article, 'Nietzsche, Genealogy and History', Foucault declared the need to distinguish between 'effective history' (a term of Nietzsche's) and traditional history. [4] He said that the aim of traditional history to discover a pattern, or a rational sequence of events, in the past is impossible because there is nothing constant or universal in either human nature or human consciousness. Different historic eras cannot relate to one another, and a new era is not born within and nurtured by its predecessor. A new era-or 'episteme' or 'discursive formation', to use his earlier terminology-simply appears in a way that cannot be explained. History does not display any pattern of evolution, he says, because the past is nothing more than a series of discontinuities or unconnected developments.

'Effective history' differs from traditional history in being without constants. Nothing in man-not even his body-is sufficiently stable to serve as the basis for self-recognition or for understanding other men. The traditional devices for constructing a comprehensive view of history and retracing the past as a patient and continuous development must be systematically dismantled. [5]

History, Foucault claims, cannot aspire to produce objective knowledge. Rather, it should aim at purging us of the pretence that historians are detached, objective observers of the past. This can only be accomplished by the 'affirmation of knowledge as perspective':

Historians take unusual pains to erase the elements in their work which reveal their grounding in a particular time and place, their preferences in a controversy-the unavoidable obstacles of their passion. Nietzsche's version of historical sense is explicit in its perspective and acknowledges its system of injustice. Its perception is slanted, being a deliberate appraisal, affirmation, or negation; it reaches the lingering and poisonous traces in order to prescribe the best antidote. [6]

In other words, objectivity is impossible, so historians should be deliberately biased in their interpretations. However, if one takes this view, where does this leave the pursuit of the truth about what happened in the past? Foucault is quite explicit-everything that happened in history has to be seen from a perspective. Even what most people would regard as fairly basic historic facts should not be seen as standing on their own. The details of events such as the storming of the Bastille, or the Battle of Waterloo, can never be seen in objective terms but only through a political interpretation.

An event, consequently, is not a decision, a treaty, a reign, or a battle, but the reversal of a relationship of forces, the usurpation of power, the appropriation of a vocabulary turned against those who had once used it. [7]

Where, then, does this leave Foucault's own claims to be an historian? On his own admission, he cannot be attempting to write objectively. In this, at least, he is consistent. He acknowledges at more than point that his own histories deserve to be called fictions. In a 1967 interview about his history of ideas, The Order of Things, he said: 'My book is a pure and simple "fiction": it's a novel.' [8] He added that it was not he who invented this fictional status; it was an inevitable consequence of the epistemology of the era in which he wrote. That is, no historian of ideas at the time could help but write anything other than fiction. By 1977, however, while still acknowledging his histories were fictional, he was at the same time attempting to insert into them the concept of truth.

I am well aware that I have never written anything but fictions. I do not mean to say, however, that truth is therefore absent. It seems to me that the possibility exists for fiction to function in truth, for a fictional discourse to induce effects of truth, and for bringing it about that a true discourse engenders or 'manufactures' something that does not as yet exist, that is, 'fictions' it. One 'fictions' history on the basis of a political reality that makes it true, one 'fictions' a politics not yet in existence on the basis of a historical truth. [9]

Now, one could agree that the notion of truth in fiction is credible. It does make sense to say that some works of literature, such as a novel or a play, may capture a certain truth about people, or that they are 'true to life'. This is a familiar and acceptable notion. It is also well-known how difficult it is for historians to be objective because they start their work within the assumptions and concepts of their own position in time, space and culture. Is he right, then, to replace traditional history, and its claims to objectivity, with 'effective history', a form of study of the past which is openly partisan? We can answer these questions in two ways: the first on grounds of internal consistency; the second on how his own work stands up to competition from that of other historians, especially those traditionalists he so disdains.

On the question of internal consistency, even Foucault's most ardent supporters today find it hard to defend him. Many now speak of 'shifts of emphasis, changes of direction, developments and reformulations which have licensed commentators to talk of breaks, differences and discontinuities within the works.' [10] That such terms are euphemisms for contradictions and inconsistency can be seen by a comparison between Foucault's anti-humanism, a position he never specifically retracted, and his ideas about the role of the historian. The notion that history is a process without a subject is in direct conflict with the role he prescribes for the 'new historian' to foster the 'insurrection of the subjugated knowledges' of outcast groups in their struggle against authority. By calling for the emergence of the 'specific intellectual' to advise these groups, Foucault is appealing to a conscious subject who can act upon his own free will. The same is true of those he defines as the oppressed: people will not automatically resist unless their conscious mind gives them some reason to believe there might be some point in it; and they simply cannot resist unless they have the will to do so.

Foucault's politics, then, are in direct conflict with his analysis of the proper role of the historian. Moreover, as I point out below in discussion of his book Discipline and Punish, Foucault's advice that it is impossible for the historian to find any rational sequence or pattern to the events of the past is something he specifically ignores himself when he wants to announce his own grand findings on the subject of penology.

The other way to test the Foucault's credentials as an historian is to look at his actual written history. In particular, we might examine the texts of the 'effective history' that he has written himself, and then compare them to the work of more conventional historians who have contributed to the same fields. This is the approach adopted in the remainder of this paper: an analysis of Foucault's major historical works plus a test of their credibility in light of the evidence found by more traditional approaches.

The origins of modern institutions

Foucault's first major work, Madness and Civilisation, was not conceived as a history of a condition that concerns only the small number of people who have made up the ranks of the insane and the institutional staff who have treated them. Rather, it is a topic that he regards as central to understanding the nature of the history of the West over last 300 years: 'the Reason-Madness nexus constitutes for Western culture one of the dimensions of its originality.' [11] In particular, he wants to overturn the traditional story told about the treatment of insanity and about the wider growth of medicine as a science. Instead of a history of progress and increasing knowledge over the last two hundred years, Foucault tells quite a different story. The period covered by his book, from the 1650s to the 1790s, was a time, he argues, in which the human sciences founded a new regime of widespread repression. Most historians have regarded this period as the Age of Reason or Enlightenment when rational, scientific method replaced religious faith and superstition as the basis of knowledge. For Foucault, this elevation of reason meant the denial of madness as part of the human condition. This had dire consequences, he asserts, not only for the insane but for the ethical values that came to dominate Western society.

Foucault claims that in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance the insane were familiar figures within society, and the concept of madness was accepted as falling within the common parameters of the human experience. The mad roamed free in villages and throughout the countryside. In some cases, the insane were turned into public displays and could be made to perform in spectacles and entertainments. Foucault says the essence of the medieval response was captured by the 'Ship of Fools', a real vessel which ferried madmen up and down the Rhine in a pilgrimage in search of their reason. The ship, 'conveying its insane cargo from town to town', was a floating symbol which provided witnesses with a haunting image of the immanence of insanity within the human predicament. Some medieval doctrines held that the insane enjoyed insight to sacred forms of knowledge but, more often, they were tolerated within local communities as defectives and unfortunates. 'In the Renaissance,' Foucault writes, 'madness was present everywhere and mingled with every experience by its images or its dangers.' [12]

However, from 1650 onwards, European society began what Foucault calls 'the great confinement'. Overnight, a large number of people-up to one per cent of the population of Paris, he says-were incarcerated in hospitals, charitable institutions and workhouses which were quickly established in France, England, Holland, Germany, Spain and Italy. Some were held in new institutions, others in buildings which, centuries before, had been lazar houses or leprosariums, but this new population was 'excluded more severely than the lepers'. [13] Initially, the incarcerated included several groups from the lower orders-the unemployed, the poor, the criminal and the insane. This was because institutions originated in times of economic recession and were targeted at 'a population without resources, without social moorings, a class rejected or rendered mobile by new economic developments.' As such, the great confinement 'constituted one of the answers the seventeenth century gave to an economic crisis that affected the entire Western world: reduction of wages, unemployment, scarcity of coin.' [14] However, Foucault insists that the authorities at the time did not themselves recognise these economic imperatives. Rather, they saw the growth in poverty and idleness as stemming from the failings of the poor themselves: 'the weakening of discipline and the relaxation of morals'. [15] Their remedy was to incarcerate people in institutions in which they would be forced to labour all day. The work ethic, in other words, became a universal prescription for all members of society.

Foucault ties this development to the rise of the European middle class -- it is the trading and new industrial cities which give the lead in establishing institutions of confinement to enforce the work ethic. He argues that this reveals the essentially authoritarian underside to the moral values that accompanied the rise of the middle class and the attempt by this class to make its own values universal. This is an interpretation which might have been offered by an orthodox Marxist historian. However, the main thesis of Foucault's book derives not from Marx but from Nietzsche. The latter held that the central feature of Western philosophy was its definition of man as a rational being, a creature who reasons. Nietzsche believed that this was the major failing of the traditional view, for it denied other aspects of humanity such as its unconscious, voluntaristic, orgiastic and self-destructive sides. Foucault's book argues that the history of insanity is really the story of the way the concept of reason has suppressed that of madness.

In the Middle Ages, Foucault contends, madness was a concept that stood on its own and was recognised as a part of the human condition. But with the arrival of the Age of Reason, madness became defined as 'unreason', the opposite of reason. 'It was in relation to unreason and to it alone that madness could be understood.' [16] Hence, because 'reason' had now become the definitive characteristic of humankind, the person who was not rational lost his status as a human being. He became nothing more than an animal:

During the classical period, madness was shown, but on the other side of bars; if present, it was at a distance, under the eyes of a reason that no longer felt any relation to it and that would not compromise itself by too close a resemblance. Madness had become a thing to look at: no longer a monster inside oneself, but an animal with strange mechanisms, a bestiality from which man had long been suppressed. [17]

At the close of the classical period of the Enlightenment, when the French Revolution marked the arrival of the modern era, Foucault writes that a new form of repression took over. In the eighteenth century institutions, the insane had marked themselves off from other inmates by their unwillingness and incapacity to work. The modern period responded in three ways: first, by establishing asylums for the exclusive use of the insane; second, by freeing the insane from chains and other forms of physical restraint which had been common in institutions; third, by defining the concept of insanity as a medical problem.

The change in the mad person's status from that of a beast to someone who was ill might give the appearance of acknowledging both the humanity of the mad person and the temporary nature of his condition. Foucault insists, however, that such a view is mistaken. Medical practitioners were given new power to legally incarcerate a person whom they defined as being insane. Moreover, the purpose of this incarceration was to allow the person to become the subject of medical treatment. Hence, medical definitions abrogated legal protections and the rights of the person to live with the rest of the community-they created a non-person. The only way the madman could regain legal and communal status, that is, the status of a fully human person, was to respond positively to the medical treatment. The appropriate response which psychiatrists and other doctors sought, Foucault emphasises, was acceptance of the norms of the community. Overall, he presents psychiatric laws and treatment of the insane as pernicious weapons which modern societies wielded in order to enforce their own definitions of normality and to punish those who transgressed them.

Madness and Civilisation made Foucault's academic reputation in France and, in 1964, earned him his first chair as Professor of Philosophy at the University of Clermont-Ferrand. His next book, The Birth of the Clinic, published in France in 1963, attracted less attention but nonetheless developed the key themes of his book on madness. Medicine's claims to a history of progress were false, he argued. The scientific approach of the nineteenth century did not represent a gradual unfolding of objective knowledge about the causes and cures of disease. Instead, he argued, it merely substituted a different form of medical science. The book was not, he insisted in the preface, a critique which took sides 'for or against' any particular kind of medicine. Nor was it a study of the origins or history of ideas about scientific medicine and disease. Rather it was a study in the way the ill person came to be 'constituted as a possible object of knowledge'. What does this mean?

In The Birth of the Clinic, Foucault claims to have discovered 'the great break' in the history of Western medicine which occurred at the end of the eighteenth century. This represented a 'mutation in medical knowledge' which transformed the things medicine studied and the ways of practising medicine. [18] Up to the end of the eighteenth century, doctors were more interested in diseases themselves than in individual patients. Early medical science was primarily an attempt to classify and categorise various diseases, according to their similarities and differences, and then to try to make sense of their patterns of occurrence. An individual who was ill represented only a space occupied by the disease. The medical scientist was primarily interested in the wider issue of the disease itself rather than its single manifestation in one person. In the nineteenth century, the 'scientific appetite' of doctors moved to the pathological anatomy of the individual. This shifted the emphasis of medicine to the study of the individual body and to the way that the symptoms of disease were present in bodily tissues. Once this shift had taken place, dissection of corpses and autopsies became a central part of medical training and analysis. The institution where these events were located became the clinic (which was initially confined to the hospital) and the practice known as clinical medicine. Foucault says that the new structure was indicated by a change in the way doctors questioned their patients. In the eighteenth century, the central question was: 'What is the matter with you?' In the nineteenth century, they asked: 'Where does it hurt?' [19]

Foucault's aim in writing this book is not merely to provide a revision of the history of medicine. He also wants to show the way in which medical science affected all the human sciences. He believes the conceptual break he identified in medicine provided a model that the others followed. The shift from the classification of diseases to the study of illness in the individual was 'the first scientific discourse concerning the individual'. Henceforth, 'Western man could constitute himself in his own eyes as an object of science'. [20] From this, the study of human behaviour and of groups and societies derived three central principles: first, they were based on the study of man through a science that proclaimed its methods were empirical and objective; second, the study of corpses led to the integration of the concept of individual death and finitude into Western culture and its social sciences; third, the study of groups and societies became rooted in a distinction, derived from medicine, between the normal and the pathological. [21]

Foucault's ultimate objective in both Madness and Civilisation and The Birth of the Clinic is to demonstrate that there is a dimension of power involved in all of the human sciences which are derived from the medical model of knowledge. By their power to separate individuals into the healthy and the sick, the sane and the insane, the normal and the pathological, the professions based on these sciences have assumed an authority that amounts to repression. Those who do not fit into the prescribed moulds are institutionalised and made to undergo treatment until they conform. According to Foucault, this system derives, not from the State or the middle class as in Marxist theory, but from our modes of thought, especially the way the human sciences are conceptualised.

In his third book on institutions, Discipline and Punish, Foucault extended his theses to encompass not only the main object of this study, prisons, but to several other types of institutions as well. This was the book and the subject matter that aroused most attention for his work in English-speaking countries. He argued that the birth of the modern era in the eighteenth century created the disciplinary institution which brought the power to punish more deeply into the social body than it had ever been. For whatever purpose it was established, the institution was based on very similar concepts, adopting strict timetables, standardised architecture, institutional uniforms, and ranks, classes and grades of inmates. Its aims were nearly always the same-to control the individual's use of time and space, to change the personality and values of the inmate, to segregate members from their former culture, to provide them with an identity that derived only from the institution, to instil a disciplinary ethos on all those within. These methods and objectives, which originated in the Middle Ages in the monastic practice of religious orders, became widely adopted in the modern era, and not only in prisons, he argued. They came to form the underlying organisational structure of all our institutions-hospitals, schools, military barracks and factories. A gradual process, which saw different institutions repeat or imitate the practices of others, eventually converged in the blueprint of a general method:

They were at work in secondary education at a very early date, later in primary schools; they slowly invested the space of the hospital; and, in a few decades, they restructured the military organisation. They sometimes circulated very rapidly from one point to another (between the army and the technical schools or secondary schools), sometimes slowly and discreetly (the insidious militarisation of the large workshops). [22]

The thesis was striking, though not necessarily original. The American sociologist, Erving Goffman, had done a similar critique (not acknowledged by Foucault) of what he called 'total institutions' in his 1961 book Asylums. Foucault's study, however, was more ambitious because it claimed to identify, not only the common nature of institutions, but the very basis of the discipline and power relations to which all of us are still subject today. What has emerged from the modern system of penology, he claims, is a 'capillary' system of power which has no centre but which reaches everywhere, affecting us all. We might note at this point that the ambition to trace the emergence of these historical power relations hardly squares with the author's 1971 declaration that any attempt to discover patterns in the past, or a rational sequence of events in history, was impossible. Nonetheless, let us see how he proceeds.

Foucault begins Discipline and Punish with an account of the execution in Paris in 1757 of Robert François Damiens for his unsuccessful attempt on the life of Louis XV. It is the story of a prolonged and partly botched public dismemberment in which the executioner is forced to sever the limbs, while the prisoner is still alive, before the horses employed to pull the arms and legs from his torso can do the job. Foucault then provides a contrasting account of penal practice some 80 years later in the House of Young Prisoners in Paris. The contrast is indicated by a timetable which prescribes the precise times and activities which must occupy each day of the inmate's incarceration. [23] The reader is led to see a transition from a penal regime based on terror to one based on order and punctuality. Foucault, however, does not see this as an improvement or an indication of a growing human concern. The decline in pain and cruelty over these 80 years is more than matched, he claims, by a 'displacement in the very object of the punitive operation'.

The expiation that once rained down upon the body must be replaced by a punishment that acts in depth on the heart, the thoughts, the will, the inclinations. Mably formulated the principle once and for all: 'Punishment, if I may so put it, should strike the soul rather than the body'. [24]

The switch of attention to 'the soul' was accompanied by an increase in the power and authoritarianism of those involved in penal practice, Foucault says. Those who pretended to be more liberal were really the opposite. As well as dispensing justice, they now wanted to 'cure' the criminal. They were not only interested in punishing the prison inmate, he says, but they also wanted to become involved in his treatment and rehabilitation. The result was the expansion rather than the contraction of society's penal regimen and the emergence of a new system of values and new theories and disciplines within the social sciences. The most direct result was the growth of a new class of people and interests to be satisfied -- psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers and penal reformers -- to add to the traditional personnel, such as judges, lawyers and police, who made their livings out of the existence of criminal behaviour. The apparent 'reforms' instituted by these new professional classes had the effect, Foucault claims, not of humanising the penal system but of extending it further into social life: 'to make of the punishment and repression of illegalities a regular function, coextensive with society... to punish with more universality and necessity; to insert the power to punish more deeply into the social body.' [25]

The combined effect of these new values and personnel was to create what Foucault calls a 'technology of power over the body'. The concept of a 'technology of power' and a 'political technology' is one that Foucault borrowed directly (though he did not acknowledge it in this book) from the philosophy of Martin Heidegger who claimed that modern society had produced a technological system which amounted to general enslavement. Foucault adapted this idea to make his own distinction between the 'body' and the 'soul'. He did not use the idea of the 'soul' in any religious sense, but rather to represent the form of internalised subjugation produced by modern society.

It would be wrong to say that the soul is an illusion, or an ideological effect. On the contrary, it exists, it has a reality, it is produced permanently around, on, within the body by the functioning of a power that is exercised on those punished-and, in a more general way, on those one supervises, trains and corrects, over madmen, children at home and at school, the colonised, over those who are stuck at a machine and supervised for the rest of their lives. This is the historical reality of this soul, which, unlike the soul represented by Christian theology, is not born in sin and subject to punishment, but is born rather out of methods of punishment, supervision and constraint... the soul is the prison of the body. [26]

Overall, Foucault's aim is to show that the histories of the institutions he has studied, the mental asylum, the hospital and the prison, provide models for the general form of power held by the authorities who dominate modern society. The sciences that control these institutions-psychiatry, clinical medicine and criminology-established an objectifying 'gaze', an all-seeing eye which turns people into objects of study. This has permitted a shift in authority from the practice of laying down laws towards an increasing reliance on the mobilisation of norms, or the enforcement of morality. Foucault's aim is to indicate that most aspects of modern life are, similarly, subject to the tyranny of the social sciences and the professional practices that derive from them. Inside schools, within families, in factories and in the colonies of the Third World, people are not free, as they imagine. Their lives are ordered by concepts that originated in the birth of the modern era more than two hundred years ago.

Madness and the Enlightenment

Foucault's interest in the history of madness was inspired by the claim of both Nietzsche and Heidegger that one of the defining characteristics of the modern concept of reason lies in its rejection of difference, or otherness. Foucault's study of madness argues that in the Middle Ages there was a place in society for the madman. However, once the Enlightenment of the eighteenth century had defined man in what was then a new way, as an essentially rational creature, the madman became a figure of fear and loathing because he was such a conspicuous representative of the other, or the different aspect of humanity. This was why, according to Foucault, the period from around 1650 to 1789, went to such lengths to construct asylums to quarantine the mad from the rest of society. In his history of madness, Foucault is attempting to provide support for Heidegger's claim that the humanist concept of rational man was a stifling, backward step in its rejection of difference and in its imposition of a single concept of identity. When other historians have examined the details of Foucault's account, however, they have concluded that the historical record provides very little support for this or any other of the philosophical points he wants to make.

In France, a recent account of the origins of asylums by the French historians, Marcel Gauchet and Gladys Swain [27], has shown that Foucault's claim that the 'great confinement' coincided with the Enlightenment is quite inaccurate. The great confinement did occur, it is true, but not between 1650 and 1789. In this period, the total number incarcerated in France grew at little more than the rate for the population as a whole, from 2,000 to about 5,000. Incarceration on a large scale, however, was essentially a product of the nineteenth century, in particular, from 1815 to 1914. In this latter period, the number of asylum inmates rose from 5,000 to 100,000. Gauchet and Swain argue that, therefore, the great confinement was not a product of the era of the Enlightenment philosophes, but rather of the democratic era that followed the French Revolution and the fall of Napoleon.

In Britain, the story was similar. Andrew Scull's history of the treatment of the insane between 1700 and 1900 shows that there was no substantial state-led move to confine the mad during either the seventeenth or the eighteenth century.

Indeed, the management of the mad on this side of the Channel remained ad hoc and unsystematic, with most madmen kept at home or left to roam the countryside, while that small fraction who were confined could generally be found in the small madhouses, which made up the newly emerging 'trade in lunacy'. [28]

Scull adds that in England during Foucault's so-called Classical Age of the great confinement, 'there was no English "exorcism" of madness; no serious attempt to police pauper madmen ... and so far from attempting to inculcate bourgeois work habits, ...what truly characterised life in the handful of eighteenth century asylums was idleness'.

Historians have pointed to similar illusions in Foucault's account of medieval attitudes. The madmen who roamed free in the Middle Ages did so not because the period was more generous towards difference, or because it was more ready to accept a multi-dimensioned concept of man. This was a time, in fact, when church and state were one, and where religious doctrine and political ideology coincided. Because these societies were hierarchical and inegalitarian, they found it much easier than modern democracies to define some people as less than fully human, or as beyond the human. Hence the toleration accorded the madman was based on the definition of his status as either subhuman or superhuman (and semi-divine). Whichever view prevailed-and subhuman was the most common throughout Europe-the madman was regarded as outside humanity and beyond communication.

In this environment, those who were not accepted as fully human could nonetheless live in a community and, as long as they caused no trouble, did not need to be locked away. Since it was accepted that they lacked the understanding and the suffering of the fully human, the insane could be ridiculed, chased by children, put on display. The status of the village idiot was not much higher than that of domestic animals and he was accepted, like domestic animals, as a familiar feature of village life. 'Where the mad proved troublesome,' Scull observes, 'they could be expect to be beaten or locked up; otherwise they might roam or rot. Either way, the facile contrast between psychiatric oppression and an earlier, almost anarchic toleration is surely illusory.' [29] As for the Ship of Fools, the historian Erik Midelfort has searched in vain for any evidence that it ever existed. He concludes it is an invention, a figment of Foucault's overactive imagination. 'Occasionally the mad were indeed sent away on boats. But nowhere can one find reference to real boats or ships loaded with mad pilgrims in search of their reason.' [30]

Foucault is just as unreliable in his account of the response of modern society to the insane. Madness became an issue of public policy with the rise of democratic, egalitarian societies primarily because these societies accepted the madman not as the other, or as someone outside humanity, but because they accepted him as another human being, as an individual with the same basic status as everyone else. Democratic societies do not make a display of their insane because they do not regard them as less than human. And if they are ill-treated, those responsible are usually held up to public criticism and correction. Insanity is no longer a cause of amusement or curiosity. For most of the modern period, the majority of people were happy to see the insane kept at a distance, but this was not because they were seen as sub-human but as people whose behaviour was disturbing or threatening. However, governments in the late twentieth century in Australia, the USA and a number of other Western countries, faced with the considerable cost of institutional care, have adopted decarceration policies and closed down most asylums. Today, the distance that was formerly maintained has shrunk dramatically.

If the modern era conferred similarity of rights, why then did democratic societies in the nineteenth century nonetheless produce the great confinement which quarantined the insane in asylums rather than integrate them into society? The initial enthusiasm for institutional confinement was based on the idea that it could insulate the inmate from the influences of the outside world whose environment was held responsible for the condition that needed treatment. In the first half of the nineteenth century, the moral corruption of this environment was largely blamed for insanity, criminality, alcoholism and poverty. Later in the century, this moral explanation was dropped in favour of a medical model of illness, which largely prevails today, as Foucault himself has argued. However, contrary to Foucault, the asylum represented a social will to integration, not exclusion. By transforming the social environment, the founders of asylums believed, you could create a new person, cured of his old problems and habits, who could eventually be released into the outside world.

Now, of course, it is clear to anyone who has read the history of institutionalised care, [31] that the social experiment represented by asylums largely failed in these aims. It was impossible to exclude the external environment and unforseen problems were produced by the process of insulation itself, including inmate dependency and conformity, and authoritarian internal management, not to mention the failure of psychiatry itself to properly diagnose or heal the majority of patients in asylums. By the late nineteenth century, citizen campaigns in some Western countries had begun to demand that large institutions be closed down. By the 1950s, the great confinement had entered its last days. But despite these problems and failures, the representation of madness provided by the asylum does not accord with Foucault's claim that it was fundamentally repressive. Across its several aspects, the asylum always treated madness as a contingent and temporary condition of a person whose basic humanity was still legally asserted. Even when the insane were deprived of normal human rights because of their condition, they were still subject as citizens to due process of the law, and their rights were always conditionally, not permanently, deprived. The insane were never defined by democratic society as a lower form of humanity, as they had been in the Middle Ages. Foucault's central claim -- that the history of insanity supports Nietzsche's and Heidegger's thesis that the modern era has imposed a stultified concept of humanity by rejecting 'the other', or the irrational side of man -- cannot be sustained.

Penal theory and penal evidence

Foucault's treatise on prisons, Discipline and Punish, may be subjected to just as damaging an empirical critique as his thesis on madness. Again he attempts to make what happened in history fit into his theoretical schema and, again, he can be found making a number of chronological errors. Changes which he claims happened in one era actually happened at another, much later stage. Given the grandeur of Foucault's scope, any corrections to his work on the question of timing might appear triflingly pedantic, but, when exposed, they actually suggest alternative explanations for the origins of the changes he is discussing. Although he is frequently vague about chronology in his writings, in the case of penal reform Foucault is quite specific. He claims that the late eighteenth century marked 'a new age for penal justice':

It saw a new theory of law and crime, a new moral or political justification of the right to punish; old laws were abolished, old customs died out. 'Modern' codes were planned or drawn up: Russia, 1769; Prussia, 1780; Pennsylvania and Tuscany, 1786; Austria, 1788; France, 1791, Year IV, 1808 and 1810. [32]

Although he is reluctant to discuss the details of all the above reforms, Foucault says their common principle was that of eliminating punishments directed at the body of the criminal. 'Among so many changes,' he says, 'I shall consider one: the disappearance of torture as a public spectacle.' He then gives a broadly correct, and uncontroversial, account of the decline of torture that once accompanied execution in some European countries, and records how executions themselves eventually became more efficient, through the trap-door gallows and the guillotine, as well as becoming less public. Unfortunately for Foucault's argument, however, there is some equally uncontroversial evidence which he ignored and which shows that legislation directed at 'the body' rather than 'the soul' increased dramatically in the very period in which he claims it declined. For, rather than the institutional timetable, the major contribution the late eighteenth century made to European penal practice was the extension of the death sentence.

The English evidence for this was well established at the time that Foucault wrote. The number of crimes in England bearing the punishment of death increased from about 50 in 1688 to about 160 by 1765 and reached approximately 225 (no one is certain of the number) by 1815. [33] Contemporary jurists and modern historians of both conservative and leftist persuasions agree that two of the main reasons for this were: first, the commercialisation of agriculture which turned what had been either customary rights or minor infringements (taking underwood from forests, fish from ponds or stealing hedges and fruit from trees) into capital offences; and second, the growing needs of commerce which led to the death penalty for forgery and counterfeiting to protect the new system of paper credit and exchange. Two-thirds of those convicted of forgery in the eighteenth century were actually executed. 'With the exception of murder,' Michael Ignatieff notes, 'no offence was more relentlessly punished.' [34]

Up to the 1780s, most major crimes such as murder, robbery, forgery and machine breaking, were punished by whipping, branding, the pillory, banishment, and execution. One hundred years later, such punishments had been largely replaced in most of western and northern Europe by imprisonment. However, Foucault is as inaccurate about the timing of this shift in penal practice as he is about the confinement of the insane. In England, the range of capital offences was greatly reduced only after the democratic reforms of 1832. Both executions and commuted sentences of death decreased in the years that followed. [35] The British legal system developed a distaste for corporal punishment at the same time but did not remove it from the statutes until the Whipping Act of 1861 was passed, and even then flogging was retained as punishment for robbery with violence. The English continued public ceremonies of execution until 1868, the same time as they finally ended transportation to Australia, again following a new surge of liberal and democratic reforms. It was the 1880s -- not the 1780s as intimated by Foucault -- when the 'old customs died out', when judicial execution and corporal punishment became rare events and when the prison became the 'ordinary mechanical punishment for every new offence created by the Legislature.' [36] In other words, it was not a 'new theory of law and crime' devised by the Enlightenment that reformed the prevailing systems of punishment, but, once again, the rise of the values of democracy, liberalism and egalitarianism.

In Discipline and Punish, Foucault's objective is not merely to trace the history of penology. His ultimate aim is to show the development of the disciplinary power which he believes dominates modern society. Under the Ancien Régime, the king imposed social order by empowering his officers to inflict immediate punishment onto the body of offenders. The modern era, Foucault claims, introduced a regime of 'generalised surveillance' which replaced the 'relations of sovereignty' with those of 'the relations of discipline'. Moreover, he says, while punishment by the sovereign was directed at the act of crime, the discipline of modern society is directed at the nature of the criminal and aims not so much to punish as to transform, not to dole out summary justice but to change the offender so that he conforms to the behaviour which society wants.

Foucault claims these developments amounted to an historic transformation: 'the gradual extension of the mechanisms of discipline throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, their spread throughout the whole social body, the formation of what might be called in general the disciplinary society.' [37] He acknowledges that some forms of modern discipline had histories that stretched back to the Middle Ages and beyond. The institution of the prison, and its division into cells, derived from the model provided by Christian monasteries; the ordering of schools came from another model provided by religious orders; public hospitals derived from examples of naval and military hospitals; workshop disciplines were centuries old. In the late eighteenth century, however, a point was reached where a multiplication of the effects of power was gained through the formation and accumulation of new forms of knowledge within institutions:

At this point the disciplines crossed the 'technological' threshold. First the hospital, then the school, then, later, the workshop were not simply 'reordered' by the disciplines; they became, thanks to them, apparatuses such that any mechanism of objectification could be used in them as an instrument of subjection, and any growth of power could give rise in them to possible branches of knowledge; it was this link, proper to the technological systems, that made possible within the disciplinary element the formation of clinical medicine, psychiatry, child psychology, educational psychology, the rationalisation of labour. [38]

Foucault argues that there was one version of the design of prisons which emerged to provide the general model for the 'disciplinary society'. This was the Panopticon invented by the English Enlightenment thinker, Jeremy Bentham. The Panopticon consisted of a central observation tower surrounded by a circular building comprising several stories of cells, each of which had an open, barred wall which faced the observation tower. Bentham proposed that the prison warden, from the 'all-seeing' observation tower, could know at a glance what was going on in each of the several hundred cells that faced him. According to Foucault, 'panopticism' is the model of how the social sciences monitor the activities of the members of the modern society. It is discipline by surveillance: 'an interrogation without end, an investigation that would be extended without limit to a meticulous and ever more analytical observation, a judgement that would at the same time be the constitution of a file that never closed.' [39]

Foucault insists that the change which occurred was essentially a philosophical one. There was a moment in time when a new idea was invented. Such was the power of this idea that, eventually, it caused such dramatic political changes as the overthrow of the king and the court in France and the reorganisation of the political system in England.

Interviewer: You determine one moment as being central in the history of repression: the transition from the inflicting of penalties to the imposition of surveillance.

Foucault: That's correct-the moment where it became understood that it was more efficient and profitable in terms of the economy of power to place people under surveillance than to subject them to some exemplary penalty... The eighteenth century invented, so to speak, a synaptic regime of power, a regime of its exercise within the social body, rather than from above it. The change in official forms of political power was linked to this process, but only via intervening shifts and displacements It was the instituting of this new local, capillary form of power which impelled society to eliminate certain elements such as the court and the king. The mythology of the sovereign was no longer possible once a certain kind of power was being exercised within the social body. The sovereign then became a fantastic personage, at once archaic and monstrous. [40]

One can see from passages like this why Foucault became so popular within universities. The fall of political dynasties is but a consequence of one momentous idea. Unlike Marx, who made philosophers dependent upon the revolution of the blue collar proletariat for their power, Foucault elevates social thinkers to the most powerful members of society, all by themselves.

This might be very heady stuff in undergraduate tutorials but there are a number of problems with it. For a start, when one examines the writings of the philosophers of the Enlightenment to whom Foucault credits these developments, they do not fit very well into his thesis. For instance, the eighteenth century thinker who originally argued for prison sentences to replace capital and corporal punishment, Cesare Beccaria, was a rationalist who believed that criminal acts were the result of individual choice. Beccaria eschewed the idea that the nature of the criminal's character and background should be a factor in his punishment and insisted that criminals should be treated equally before the law, and that punishment should fit the crime. This philosopher, in other words, was operating firmly within the old 'relations of sovereignty'. Despite Foucault's claims, Beccaria specifically rejected the proposal that his system of imprisonment should aim at the reform or the transformation of the criminal. 'Reformation is not to be thrust even on the criminal,' Beccaria wrote, 'and while for the very fact of its being enforced, it loses its usefulness and efficiency, such enforcement is also contrary to the rights of the criminal, who can never be compelled to anything save suffering the legal punishment.' [41]

Jeremy Bentham, upon whose shoulders Foucault places so much of the responsibility for the present system, was even more of a classic liberal. Bentham's utilitarian psychology held that every individual was a free and calculating agent engaged in the pursuit of pleasure and the avoidance of pain. From a utilitarian perspective, the point of punishment was to show the criminal that he had calculated wrongly when he chose crime instead of obeying the law. Again, punishment should fit the nature of the crime rather than the nature of the criminal. Bentham's plans for the panopticon made no attempt at reform apart from providing a site where the criminal could contemplate his loss of liberty, compared with the liberty he might have had if he had not offended. Any work the criminal did in jail was designed not to make him a better citizen when released but to help make a profit for the contractor who constructed the prison, for Bentham was one of the earliest advocates of what are now called 'privatised' prisons. [42]

The human sciences about which Foucault is so concerned -- psychiatry, criminology, child psychology et al -- did not emerge in the late eighteenth century as part of Enlightenment philosophy. They only arose, in fact, some 100 years later, and came as a critique of the view of human nature expressed by Beccaria, Bentham, James Mill and other liberals who wrote on penology. The Scottish historian, David Garland, has recently published a study of the late-Victorian penal system in England which clearly identifies its theoretical inspirations. Up to the 1880s, this system insisted on treating each individual 'exactly alike' with no reference being made to his or her criminal type or individual character. The criminal's nature was simply that of the legal subject. Only children and the insane were accorded a status that varied in any way from that of the legal subject. It was not until the 1890s, however, that the philosophies and practices which characterise the penal system of today, came into being. They rejected the classic liberal system in three ways. First, they denied the formal equality of legal subjects and began to take account of the peculiarities of specific individuals, especially the degree to which some could be held responsible for their actions. Second, they recognised fields of study outside the law itself and accepted some of the conclusions of these human sciences as factors which could mitigate criminality, such as the psychological problems of adolescence, the medical nature of alcoholism, the economic difficulties of some offenders. As a result, they began to classify inmates into various social and psychological categories which required different institutional programs, including distinct institutions for juveniles, inebriates and those defined as mentally defective. Third, they developed a range of alternatives to prison to include reform schools for adolescents, training and work experience programs, parole and supervision without detention. [43]

This new jurisdiction, which was introduced in England between 1895 and 1914, and in several other Western countries at about the same time, is the one which comes closest to Foucault's characterisation of the disciplinary regime. It allowed the state to treat the offenders not as equal, free and rational legal subjects but as individuals of varying character and responsibility. The relation between state and offender was no longer presented as a contractual obligation to punish, but as a positive attempt to produce reform and normalisation. This new state regarded itself as a benefactor, intervening to relieve conditions that detracted from formal equality and attempting to rescue its subjects from vice and crime. [44]

This new, interventionist state represents a dramatic change from the liberalism of the late-eighteenth century Enlightenment. It reflects the reorientation of the role of government in the early twentieth century as part of the movement towards what later came to be known as the 'welfare state'. It is the early twentieth century, not the late eighteenth, that corresponds most to Foucault's thesis. For instance, the earliest historians of prison reform in Britain were the twentieth century welfare state advocates, Beatrice and Sydney Webb, who were also pioneers of a number of the techniques of social investigation which Foucault identifies as part of the modern apparatus of surveillance. [45]

Now, at this point, even though we can acknowledge that there may be some correspondence between what Foucault calls the 'disciplinary society' and the institutional policies and practices of the welfare state, he is still not left with much of an argument. The complete lack of any correlation between the penal reform of the Enlightenment and that of the twentieth century destroys his central claim about the power of philosophy. There was no single idea, born at one moment in the eighteenth century, from which all the history of the disciplinary society has unravelled. Moreover, this is not even true for the period where there is some connection between Foucault's account and the findings of other historians. As David Garland has shown in some detail, the normalisation and categorisation that took place after 1895 was neither natural nor inevitable, nor the simple unfolding of 'penality's true essence'. It was the outcome of a definite struggle between contesting forces, between administrators seeking the efficient conduct of institutions, between professionals from the new social and medical sciences seeking to encompass new territories within their ambit, and between politicians responding to incompatible demands from their constituents to impose punishments according to principles of justice, to reduce rates of crime and recidivism, and at the same time to economise on the costs of conducting the prison system. In other words, theories of penology were never more than one ingredient in a real and often messy political contest, and the outcome was never inevitable.

It is clear, then, that Foucault's attempt to portray the present period as dominated by a system of thought which could be read off from the philosophy of the Enlightenment is a failure in every way. Where, then, does this leave his fictionalised, perspective-based, effective history? Whatever view one takes about the ability of the historian to free himself from the perspective of his own times, it remains nonetheless true that Foucault's own work and that of his critics is constructed through the use of empirical data and information-the numbers of inmates in asylums, the dates of penal reforms, the words of the texts of reformers of medical and disciplinary regimes. When Foucault's own data is held up against that of others there are two conclusions that may be drawn. The first is that in the cases discussed above, the critics clearly have the best of the debate and effectively demolish Foucault's conclusions. The second, and methodologically more important, conclusion is that what decides these issues is actually the empirical data which is being deployed, and appealed to, by both sides. Even though Foucault has an obviously careless and nonchalant attitude towards the use of evidence, he does not admit to inventing or distorting it. He uses evidence as though it is given by the historic record; given, that is, in an objective way.

Homosexuality in Ancient Greece

As I noted at the start of this paper, Foucault's famous proclamation of 'the death of man' was a rejection of the humanist tradition's belief in the autonomy of the individual subject and his free will. By the 1980s, however, the author himself had quietly shelved his antagonism to these ideas. In the second and third volumes of his History of Sexuality published in 1984, he brings the vocabulary and concepts of the previously maligned humanism into his own writings. Both 'the subject' and the 'freedom' of the individual to act ethically form part of his advocacy of the ethics of classical Greece and Rome. The individual, according to this new Foucault, needs to shape himself as an 'ethical subject'. He defines the basic practice of ethics as 'self-mastery', which is derived from 'the thoughtful practice of freedom'. [46]

The concept of self-mastery, or self-control, did not, however, operate in the absence of cultural influences. According to Foucault, any attitude an individual takes in sexual matters is influenced greatly by the prevailing culture or ideology. How sexual relations manifest themselves in a society is always a product of the prevailing 'discourse' or ideology. Sexuality is thus 'discursively constructed'. Moreover, our underlying nature, Foucault maintains, is nothing as fixed or certain as what we moderns call heterosexuality or homosexuality. Nature made us androgynous creatures but today we accept more limited sexual preferences simply because of the dictates of discourse. In The Uses of Pleasure, volume two of the History of Sexuality, Foucault says the ancient Greeks were more in tune with their natural instincts. Greek men, Foucault claims, were bisexual and 'could, simultaneously or in turn, be enamoured of a boy or a girl.'

We can talk about their 'bisexuality', thinking of the free choice they allowed themselves between the two sexes, but for them this option was not referred to a dual, ambivalent, and 'bisexual' structure of desire. To their way of thinking, what made it possible to desire a man or a woman was simply the appetite that nature had implanted in man's heart for "beautiful" human beings, whatever their sex might be. [47]

Foucault follows the work of the English historian, K. J. Dover, and endorses his interpretation of ancient Greek male homosexuality, especially the purported cult of pederasty so widely celebrated by modern gay writers. According to the latter, the Greeks were indifferent to same sex relations, and indeed considered them perfectly normal. The only restriction was that the participants had to observe certain protocols and conventions. In the case of pederasty, which Foucault prefers to call 'boy love', the custom was that the boy had to be courted and play hard to get, that his reputation be protected and that he not receive any money. The boy, however, should not be anally penetrated-the older man was only allowed to rub his penis between the boy's thighs, as depicted in scenes on some ancient Greek vases. In classical Roman culture, Foucault admits, there is less discussion and more than a little criticism of 'the love of boys', but he still maintains it was the norm. 'All the texts plainly show that it was still common,' he says, 'and still regarded as a natural thing.' [48]

This interpretation by Dover, Foucault and others of the same persuasion has been challenged by the American classics scholar, Bruce Thornton in his examination of the meanings the ancient Greeks gave to sex. Thornton's book, Eros: The Myth of Ancient Greek Sexuality [49], is, like Foucault's, an analysis of the literary remains of ancient Greece to discern their attitudes on the topic. However, unlike Foucault, whose reading is confined to a narrow selection of fourth century medical and philosophical works, Thornton examines the dramatic tragedy and comedy, poetry, oratory, legend, history and philosophy of the whole culture, from the eighth to the first century BC.

Thornton offers two chapters on Greek homosexuality which undermine Foucault's claims about their natural bisexuality. Thornton shows there is no evidence in their literature for the supposition that the Greeks viewed the sexual penetration of men and women in the same light. Sex between males was an offence against the laws of hubris and of sexual outrage. The passive homosexual, the male who allowed himself to be anally penetrated, was viewed with 'shame' and 'outrage'. Plato and Xenophon both viewed sex between males as a depravity that all right-thinking men should abhor as much as they would incest. Aristotle saw homosexuality as a deformed condition brought about either by natural disorder or by habit, but something that was decidedly 'abnormal'. There are homosexual characters in some of Aristophanes' plays but they are associated with corruption and decadence. In Knights, Aristophanes is saying that corruption in Athens has reached the stage where the shameless pursuit of all appetites, including active and passive homosexuality, is the most important qualification for a politician. [50]

On the one hand, Thornton argues, the Greek philosophers saw homosexuality as an historical innovation, one that was 'contrary to nature', a result of the depraved human imagination and vulnerability to pleasure. On the other hand, dramatists like Euripides saw it as a 'product of nature' which those afflicted found hard to control. But even in the latter cases, homosexuality is portrayed as a crime that unleashes destructive forces that overthrow reason and law. For instance, in Euripides' play Chrysippus, Laius, the father of Oedipus, kidnaps and rapes the son of Pelops and thereby initiates a chain reaction of erotic disorder culminating in the incest and parricide of Oedipus and the blight of Thebes that destroys the life of humans, herds and crops alike. [51]

How, then, did the myth of Greek bisexuality gain any currency? Partly by misinterpretation of the literary remains, Thornton argues, and partly by selective use of evidence. Foucault's reading, for example, omitted the great volume of classical drama and poetry in which homosexuality was explicitly condemned. Because there is some discussion of homosexual attraction in some classic texts like Plato's Symposium, Foucault takes these fragments to be expressions of universal cultural values. While it is apparently true that there was an aristocratic homosexual tradition, this represented only a tiny elitist minority at any time. The concept of 'boy love' is derived from a real tradition in which older aristocratic men did act as educational and social mentors for adolescent youths from other aristocratic families. However, Thornton shows the notion that this relationship involved homosexual intercourse would have been abhorrent to all concerned. It is true there are illustrations on vases depicting homosexual acts between older men and boys, but there is no reason to believe these tell us any more about what was representative in ancient Greece than mail order magazines of child pornography indicate what is normal and accepted in our own times.

Thornton acknowledges that Socrates himself probably had homosexual inclinations, since Plato speaks of his struggle to overcome his desire for the beautiful youth Alcibiades. Plato nonetheless assures us that Socrates did not succumb to this temptation and did not act out his desires. However, the prospect that one of the great thinkers of ancient Greece might have been a closet homosexual tells us nothing about other Greek men of the era, nor about the natural instincts of men at large. Foucault's interpretation -- some men in ancient Greece were homosexual, therefore the sexual taste of the human species is androgynous -- is not only spurious logic but an insult to the kind of reasoning that Socrates gave his life to sustain.

* * *

It is not, of course, merely the logic of Foucault's arguments that is at issue in his historical practice. Foucault's histories, I have tried to show, are also inadequate in terms of both their methodological approaches and in the way they deploy evidence and research findings, or to be more precise, in his cavalier attitude to the need for evidence to be accurate or for research to be at all comprehensive. Foucault himself long ago confidently anticipated critiques of this kind. In 1969, in the opening pages of The Archaeology of Knowledge, he predicted:

One will be denounced for attacking the inalienable rights of history and the very foundations of any possible historicity. But one must not be deceived: what is being bewailed with such vehemence is not the disappearance of history, but the eclipse of that form of history that was secretly, but entirely related to the synthetic activity of the subject. [52]

Unfortunately for Foucault, no such eclipse has taken place. As this paper has illustrated, when both his own and the work of traditional historians are compared on the very same ground, it is his own efforts that are so demonstrably devoid of foundations.


1. This is not the only meaning he was to ascribe to the phrase. For an extended discussion see Luc Ferry and Alain Renaut, French Philosophy of the Sixties: An Essay on Antihumanism, trans. Mary S. Catani, University of Massachusetts Press, Amherst, 1990, pp 100-5
2. Michel Foucault, Power/Knowledge: Selected Interviews and Other Writings 1972-1977, Colin Gordon (ed.), Pantheon Books, New York, 1980, pp 81, 84
3. Foucault, Power/Knowledge, pp 81-3
4. Michel Foucault, 'Nietzsche, Genealogy and History', in Paul Rabinow (ed.) The Foucault Reader, Pantheon Books, New York, 1984, pp 76-100.
5. Foucault, 'Nietzsche, Genealogy and History', p 87-8
6. Foucault, 'Nietzsche, Genealogy and History', p 90
7. Foucault, 'Nietzsche, Genealogy and History', p 88
8. Michel Foucault, Foucault Live: Interviews 1966-1984, Sylvere Lotringer (ed.), Semiotext(e), Columbia University, New York, 1989, p 20
9. Foucault, Power/Knowledge, p 193
10. Barry Smart, Michel Foucault, Routledge, London, 1985, p 41
11. Michel Foucault, Madness and Civilisation: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason, Vintage Books, New York, 1988, p xi
12. Foucault, Madness and Civilisation, p 70
13. Foucault, Madness and Civilisation, p 45
14. Foucault, Madness and Civilisation, pp 48, 49
15. Foucault, Madness and Civilisation, p 59
16. Foucault, Madness and Civilisation, p 83
17. Foucault, Madness and Civilisation, p 70
18. Michel Foucault, The Birth of the Clinic: An Archaeology of Medical Perception, Vintage Books, New York, 1975, p xviii
19. Foucault, The Birth of the Clinic, p xviii
20. Foucault, The Birth of the Clinic, p 197
21. Foucault, The Birth of the Clinic, pp 34-6
22. Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison, Allen Lane, London, 1977, p 138
23. Foucault, Discipline and Punish, pp 3-7
24. Foucault, Discipline and Punish, p 16
25. Foucault, Discipline and Punish, p 82
26. Foucault, Discipline and Punish, pp 29-30
27. Marcel Gauchet and Gladys Swain, Madness and Democracy, (1980) (trans. Catherine Porter), Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1999
28. Andrew Scull, The Most Solitary of Afflictions: Madness and Society in Britain 1700-1900, Yale University Press, New Haven, 1993, pp 7-8
29. Scull, The Most Solitary of Afflictions, p 7. See also: 'Andrew Scull, 'A Failure to Communicate? On the Reception of Foucault's Histoire de la Folie by Anglo-American Historians', in Arthur Still and Irving Volody (eds.) Rewriting the History of Madness, London, Routledge, 1992
30. Erik Midelfort, 'Madness and Civilisation in Early Modern Europe', in B.C. Malament (ed.) After the Reformation: Essays in Honor of J.H. Hexter, University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, 1980, p 254
31. Andrew Scull's work still provides the best overall approach to the English history of the subject. The Most Solitary of Afflictions is a revised version of his earlier Museums of Madness: Social Organisation of Insanity in Nineteenth Century England, Penguin, Harmondsworth, 1979. See also his Decarceration, Community Treatment and the Deviant: A Radical View, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1977
32. Foucault, Discipline and Punish, p 7
33. Leon Radzinowicz, A History of English Criminal Law and its Administration from 1750, 4 vols, Stevens, London, 1948-1968, Vol 1, chapter 1
34. Michael Ignatieff, A Just Measure of Pain: The Penitentiary in the Industrial Revolution 1750-1850, Macmillan, London, 1978. See also William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England, 1769, IV, pp 233-46; Douglas Hay, 'Property, Authority and the Criminal Law', in Douglas Hay, Peter Linebaugh and E. P. Thompson (eds.) Albion's Fatal Tree: Crime and Society in Eighteenth Century England, Allen Lane, London, 1975; E.P. Thompson, Whigs and Hunters: The Origin of the Black Act, Allen Lane, London, 1975
35. Radzinowicz, A History of English Criminal Law, Vol 4, pp 303-53
36. David Garland, Punishment and Welfare: A History of Penal Strategies, Gower, Aldershot, 1985, p 7, quoting from the Report of the Prison Commissioners, 1898
37. Foucault, Discipline and Punish, p 209
38. Foucault, Discipline and Punish, p 224
39. Foucault, Discipline and Punish, p 227
40. Foucault, Power/Knowledge, pp 38-39
41. cited by Leon Radzinowicz, A History of English Criminal Law, Vol 1, pp 277-83
42. Jeremy Bentham, "Panopticon", in The Works of Jeremy Bentham, Vol IV, New York, 1962; Gertrude Himmelfarb, 'The Haunted House of Jeremy Bentham', in her Victorian Minds, New York, 1968
43. Garland, Punishment and Welfare, pp 12-15
44. Garland, Punishment and Welfare, p 31
45. Sydney and Beatrice Webb, English Prisons under Local Government, (1922), London, 1963
46. Michel Foucault, The Use of Pleasure: The History of Sexuality, Vol 2, trans. Robert Hurley, Vintage Books, New York, 1986, pp 4-13
47. Foucault, The Use of Pleasure, p 188
48. Michel Foucault, The Care of the Self, The History of Sexuality, Vol 3, trans. Robert Hurley, Vintage Books, New York, 1988, p 189
49. Bruce Thornton, Eros: The Myth of Ancient Greek Sexuality, Westview Press, Colorado, 1997
50. Thornton, Eros, pp 117-8
51. Thornton, Eros, p 102
52. Michel Foucault, The Archaeology of Knowledge, trans. A. M. Sheridan Smith, Pantheon Books, New York, 1982, p 14