Once more Andrew Scull has decided to take on Foucault’s History of Madness, this time in the French monthly Books. As I am not a subscriber I can’t see the whole article (“Twilight of an idol”), but it is summarized here.
Scull again accuses Foucault’s work of being “superficial and dated” and again claims that because he was in “intellectual exile” in Sweden at the time he wrote it that he didn’t have access to the proper documents and archives. If these claims sound familiar it’s because they were made already by Scull in the TLS. Colin Gordon already wrote a long rebuttal that you can see here.
I don’t know if Gordon has a response to Scull in this month’s Books, but their website does have an audio extract from Paul Veyne’s biography of Foucault. Veyne was a friend and colleague of Foucault.
Filed under: Madness