The Normal and the Pathological

The Normal and the Pathological

Paperback Language: English / French

By (author) Georges Canguilhem, Introduction by Michel Foucault, Translated by Carolyn R. Fawcett

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  • Publisher: ZONE BOOKS
  • Format: Paperback | 327 pages
  • Language: English / French
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 224mm x 28mm | 522g
  • Publication date: 16 December 1991
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0942299590
  • ISBN 13: 9780942299595
  • Edition: New edition
  • Edition statement: New edition
  • Illustrations note: notes, bibliography, index
  • Sales rank: 114,037

Product description

The Normal and the Pathological is one of the crucial contributions to the history of science in the last half century. It takes as its starting point the sudden appearance of biology as a science in the 19th-century and examines the conditions determining its particular makeup.Canguilhem analyzes the radically new way in which health and disease were defined in the early 19th-century, showing that the emerging categories of the normal and the pathological were far from being objective scientific concepts. He demonstrates how the epistemological foundations of modern biology and medicine were intertwined with political, economic, and technological imperatives.Canguilhem was an important influence on the thought of Michel Foucault and Louis Althusser, in particular for the way in which he poses the problem of how new domains of knowledge come into being and how they are part of a discontinuous history of human thought.

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Author information

Georges Canguilhem is Professor Emeritus at the Sorbonne and former director of the Institut d'Histoire des Sciences et des Techniques de l'Universite de Paris. His works include La Connaissance de la Vie, Ideology and Rationality in the History of the Life Sciences, and The Normal and the Pathological. Michel Foucault (1926--84) is widely considered to be one of the most influential academic voices of the twentieth century and has proven influential across disciplines.

Review quote

"A brilliant and stimulating book." Howard L. Laye Journal of Interdisciplinary History

Table of contents

Part 1 Essay on some problems concerning the normal and the pathological: is the pathological state merely a quantitative modification of the normal state? - introduction to the problem - Auguste Compte and "Broussais's Principle" - Claude Bernard and experimental pathology - the conceptions of Rene Leriche - implications of a theory; do sciences of the normal and the pathological exist? - introduction to the problem - a critical examination of certain concepts - norm and average - disease, cure, health - physiology and pathology - conclusion. Part 2 New reflections on the normal and the pathological: twenty years later; from the social to the vital; on organic norms in Man; a new concept in pathology - error; epilogue.