Surveiller et punir: Naissance de la prison PDF

This article is written like a personal reflection, personal essay, or argumentative essay that states a Wikipedia editor’s personal feelings or presents an original argument surveiller et punir: Naissance de la prison PDF a topic. 1975 book by the French philosopher Michel Foucault. The main ideas of Discipline and Punish can be grouped according to its four parts: torture, punishment, discipline, and prison. He believes that the question of the nature of these changes is best asked by assuming that they weren’t used to create a more humanitarian penal system, nor to more exactly punish or rehabilitate, but as part of a continuing trajectory of subjection.


Peut-être avons-nous honte aujourd’hui de nos prisons. Le XIXe siècle, lui, était fier des forteresses qu’il construisait aux limites et parfois au cœur des villes. Ces murs, ces verrous, ces cellules figuraient toute une entreprise d’orthopédie sociale. Ceux qui volent, on les emprisonne ; ceux qui violent, on les emprisonne ; ceux qui tuent, également. D’où vient cette étrange pratique et le curieux projet d’enfermer pour redresser, que portent avec eux les Codes pénaux de l’époque moderne ? Un vieil héritage des cachots du Moyen Âge ? Plutôt une technologie nouvelle : la mise au point, du XVIe au XIXe siècle, de tout un ensemble de procédures pour quadriller, contrôler, mesurer, dresser les individus, les rendre à la fois «dociles et utiles». Surveillance, exercices, manœuvres, notations, rangs et places, classements, examens, enregistrements, toute une manière d’assujettir les corps, de maîtriser les multiplicités humaines et de manipuler leurs forces s’est développée au cours des siècles classiques, dans les hôpitaux, à l’armée, dans les écoles, les collèges ou les ateliers : la discipline. La prison est à replacer dans la formation de cette société de surveillance. La pénalité moderne n’ose plus dire qu’elle punit des crimes ; elle prétend réadapter des délinquants. Peut-on faire la généalogie de la morale moderne à partir d’une histoire politique des corps ?

Foucault wants to tie scientific knowledge and technological development to the development of the prison to prove this point. He begins by examining public torture and execution. He argues that the public spectacle of torture and execution was a theatrical forum, the original intentions of which eventually produced several unintended consequences. Foucault stresses the exactitude with which torture is carried out, and describes an extensive legal framework in which it operates to achieve specific purposes.

Foucault describes public torture as ceremony. The secret of the investigation and the conclusion of the magistrates was justified by the publicity of the torture. To show the effect of investigation on confession. According to Foucault torture could occur during the investigation, because partial proofs meant partial guilt. If the torture failed to elicit a confession then the investigation was stopped and innocence assumed.

A confession legitimized the investigation and any torture that occurred. Reflecting the violence of the original crime onto the convict’s body for all to see, in order for it to be manifested then annulled by reciprocating the violence of the crime on the criminal. Enacting the revenge upon the convict’s body, which the sovereign seeks for having been injured by the crime. Foucault argues that the law was considered an extension of the sovereign’s body, and so the revenge must take the form of harming the convict’s body. Foucault looks at public torture as the outcome « of a certain mechanism of power » that views crime in a military schema. Crime and rebellion are akin to a declaration of war. The sovereign was not concerned with demonstrating the ground for the enforcement of its laws, but of identifying enemies and attacking them, the power of which was renewed by the ritual of investigation and the ceremony of public torture.