Inspirational Michel Foucault Quotes

Michel Foucault (15 October 1926 – 25 June 1984) was a French philosopher. This post features some Inspirational Michel Foucault Quotes.

His theories addressed the relationship between power and knowledge, and how they are used as a form of social control through societal institutions. Though often cited as a post-structuralist and postmodernist, Foucault rejected these labels, preferring to present his thought as a critical history of modernity. His thought has been highly influential both for academic and for activist groups, such as within post-anarchism.

Michel Foucault Quotes
Michel Foucault Quotes

Michel Foucault Quotes

“There are more ideas on earth than intellectuals imagine.”
― Michel Foucault

“Where there is power, there is resistance.”
― Michel Foucault

“People know what they do; frequently they know why they do what they do; but what they don’t know is what what they do does.”
― Michel Foucault

“The ‘Enlightenment’, which discovered the liberties, also invented the disciplines.”
― Michel Foucault

“I don’t write a book so that it will be the final word; I write a book so that other books are possible, not necessarily written by me.”
Michel Foucault

“Madness is the absolute break with the work of art; it forms the constitutive moment of abolition, which dissolves in time the truth of the work of art.”
― Michel Foucault

“Justice must always question itself, just as society can exist only by means of the work it does on itself and on its institutions.”
― Michel Foucault

“Knowledge is not for knowing: knowledge is for cutting.”
― Michel Foucault

“I don’t feel that it is necessary to know exactly what I am. The main interest in life and work is to become someone else that you were not in the beginning.”
― Michel Foucault

“I’m no prophet. My job is making windows where there were once walls.”
― Michel Foucault

“In its function, the power to punish is not essentially different from that of curing or educating.”
― Michel Foucault

“Maybe the target nowadays is not to discover what we are but to refuse what we are.”
― Michel Foucault

“The lyricism of marginality may find inspiration in the image of the “outlaw,” the great social nomad, who prowls on the confines of a docile, frightened order.”
Michel Foucault quotes

“There is hardly a philosophy which has not invoked something like the will or desire to know, the love of truth, etcetera. But, in truth, very few philosophers—apart, perhaps, from Spinoza and Schopenhauer—have accorded it more than a marginal status; as if there was no need for philosophy to say first of all what the name that it bears actually refers to.”
― Michel Foucault

“Freedom of conscience entails more dangers than authority and despotism.”
― Michel Foucault

“Is it surprising that prisons resemble factories, schools, barracks, hospitals, which all resemble prisons?”
― Michel Foucault

“What strikes me is the fact that in our society, art has become something which is related only to objects and not to individuals, or to life. That art is something which is specialized or which is done by experts who are artists. But couldn’t everyone’s life become a work of art? Why should the lamp or the house be an art object, but not our life?”
― Michel Foucault

“The strategic adversary is fascism… the fascism in us all, in our heads and in our everyday behavior, the fascism that causes us to love power, to desire the very thing that dominates and exploits us.”
― Michel Foucault

“The gesture that divides madness is the constitutive one, not the science that grows up in the calm that returns after the division has been made.”
― Michel Foucault

“As the archaeology of our thought easily shows, man is an invention of recent date. And one perhaps nearing its end.”
― Michel Foucault

“If you are not like everybody else, then you are abnormal, if you are abnormal , then you are sick. These three categories, not being like everybody else, not being normal and being sick are in fact very different but have been reduced to the same thing.”
― Michel Foucault

“The imaginary is not formed in opposition to reality as its denial or compensation; it grows among signs, from book to book, in the interstice of repetitions and commentaries; it is born and takes shape in the interval between books. It is the phenomena of the library.”
― Michel Foucault

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