"Is it surprising that prisons resemble factories, schools, barracks, hospitals, which all resemble prisons?"

  • page 228, Discipline and Punish, M Foucault.

Foucault had elaborately written about every single object described above except hospital. He had, though, explained why hospital was attracted by "system-administration" and what was the way to treat patient before the idea of hospital formed, but it is hard to comprehend that hospitals are part of "power-physics" in the context of the book. Especially, if we consider, the pre-modern era when there was no cure for epidemics and isolation was required, thus it is hard to see this isolation as a way to control.

I want to know, is there any criticisms regarding this issue? Or is there any elaborate-explanation to justify his proposition about hospital mentioned above?


  1. We consider what Foucault said in 'Discipline and Punish' only, not what he said outside of 'Discipline and Punish' as I can't remember him referring to his other book (if he did, please, let me know) .

closed as unclear what you're asking by Mr. Kennedy, John Am, user19563, Joseph Weissman Mar 15 '17 at 1:58

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    Foucault writes very extensively about the history of the hospital system in France in Madness and Civilization (especially as it relates to the treatment of the mentally ill) – Joseph Weissman Mar 14 '17 at 15:42
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    @JosephWeissman , that does not justify his statement on manipulation of hospital system in the case of epidemic. – Jim Mar 14 '17 at 15:50
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    "Foucault had elaborately written about every single object described above included hospital." Maybe useful to read F's full book dedicate to "hospital" : Naissance de la clinique Une archéologie du regard médical (1963), Engl.transl. The Birth of the Clinic: An Archaeology of Medical Perception. – Mauro ALLEGRANZA Mar 14 '17 at 16:41
  • Isn't this actually very clear, just also easily answered? There have not been any criticisms regarding the issue because there is no issue. Foucault did write on hospitals. – Canyon Mar 15 '17 at 2:00