Madness in Lacan and Foucault

By: Christopher Power

Abstract: This paper highlights certain affinities between the work of Jacques Lacan and Michel Foucault. It takes as a starting point the notion of madness articulated in Jacques Lacan’s “Fonction et champ de la parole et du langage en psychanalyse”, the speech he gave in Rome in 1966 that marked his break with the Société psychanalytique de Paris and his creation of the Société Française de Psychanalyse. This will be compared with the notion of madness
developed in the first appendix to Michel Foucault’s Histoire de la Folie that was published in 1972 and is titled “La folie, l’absence d’oeuvre”.