Philosophers / Thinkers

55 Michel Foucault Quotes on Power (EDUCATION)

Top 10 Most Famous Michel Foucault Quotes (BEST)

“‘Truth‘ is to be understood as a system of ordered procedures for the production, regulation, distribution, circulation and operation of statements. ‘Truth’ is linked in a circular relation with systems of power which produce and sustain it, and to effects of power which it induces and which extend it. A ‘regime’ of truth.”

Michel Foucault
Schools serve the same social functions as prisons and mental institutions- to define, classify, control, and regulate people.
Schools serve the same social functions as prisons and mental institutions – to define, classify, control, and regulate people.
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.
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.
There are forms of oppression and domination which become invisible - the new normal.
There are forms of oppression and domination which become invisible – the new normal.
Where there is power, there is resistance.
Where there is power, there is resistance.

Knowledge doesn’t really form part of human nature. Conflict, combat, the outcome of the combat, and, consequently, risk and chance are what gives rise to knowledge. Knowledge is not instinctive; it is counter instinctive, just as it is not natural but counter natural.”

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.
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.
Power is tolerable only on condition that it mask a substantial part of itself. Its success is proportional to its ability to hide its own mechanisms.
Power is tolerable only on condition that it mask a substantial part of itself. Its success is proportional to its ability to hide its own mechanisms.
From the idea that the self is not given to us, I think there is only one practical consequence we have to create ourselves as a work of art.
From the idea that the self is not given to us, I think there is only one practical consequence: we have to create ourselves as a work of art.
Are the prisons overpopulated, or is the population over-imprisoned?
Are the prisons overpopulated, or is the population over-imprisoned?

8 Michel Foucault Quotes on Freedom and Society

“Domination is not that solid and global kind of domination that one person exercises over others, or one group over another, but the manifold forms of domination that can be exercised within society.”

Michel Foucault
Search for what is good and strong and beautiful in your society and elaborate from there. Push outward.
Search for what is good and strong and beautiful in your society and elaborate from there. Push outward.
Our society is not one of spectacle but of surveillance.
Our society is not one of spectacle but of surveillance.
The 'Enlightenment', which discovered the liberties, also invented the disciplines.
The ‘Enlightenment’, which discovered the liberties, also invented the disciplines.

“The real political task in a society such as ours is to criticize the workings of institutions that appear to be both neutral and independent, to criticize and attack them in such a manner that the political violence that has always exercised itself obscurely through them will be unmasked, so that one can fight against them.”

Michel Foucault
We are freer than we think.
We are freer than we think.
Freedom of conscience entails more dangers than authority and despotism.
Freedom of conscience entails more dangers than authority and despotism.
Total surveillance is increasingly the general condition of society as a whole.
Total surveillance is increasingly the general condition of society as a whole.

8 WiseMichel Foucault Quotes that will Make You Think (WISDOM)

“The history of thought, of knowledge, of philosophy, of literature seems to be seeking, and discovering, more and more discontinuities, whereas history itself appears to be abandoning the irruption of events in favor of stable structures.”

Michel Foucault
I am hopelessly in love with a memory. An echo from another time, another place.
I am hopelessly in love with a memory. An echo from another time, another place.
Maybe the target nowadays is not to discover what we are but to refuse what we are.
Maybe the target nowadays is not to discover what we are but to refuse what we are.
Always create from what you already have. Then you will know what to do.
Always create from what you already have. Then you will know what to do.
What desire can be contrary to nature since it was given to man by nature itself?
What desire can be contrary to nature since it was given to man by nature itself?
Do not think that one has to be sad in order to be militant, even though the thing one is fighting is abominable.
Do not think that one has to be sad in order to be militant, even though the thing one is fighting is abominable.
Everything is bad, but that everything is dangerous, which is not exactly the same as bad.
Everything is bad, but that everything is dangerous, which is not exactly the same as bad.
The judges of normality are present everywhere. We are in the society of the teacher-judge, the doctor-judge, the educator-judge, the social worker-judge.
The judges of normality are present everywhere. We are in the society of the teacher-judge, the doctor-judge, the educator-judge, the social worker-judge.

3 Michel Foucault Quotes on Justice

Justice must always question itself, just as society can exist only by means of the work it does on itself and on its institutions.
Justice must always question itself, just as society can exist only by means of the work it does on itself and on its institutions.
Prison is a recruitment center for the army of crime. That is what it achieves.
Prison is a recruitment center for the army of crime. That is what it achieves.
But the guilty person is only one of the targets of punishment. For punishment is directed above all at others, at all the potentially guilty.
But the guilty person is only one of the targets of punishment. For punishment is directed above all at others, at all the potentially guilty.

6 Michel Foucault Quotes on Power

“The university and in a general way, all teaching systems, which appear simply to disseminate knowledge, are made to maintain a certain social class in power; and to exclude the instruments of power of another social class.”

Michel Foucault
Power is also exerted over the body, not so much as physical punishment, but as ideological orders.
Power is also exerted over the body, not so much as physical punishment, but as ideological orders.
The fascism in us all that causes us to love power, to desire the very thing that dominates and exploits us.
The fascism in us all that causes us to love power, to desire the very thing that dominates and exploits us.
The individual, with his identity and characteristics, is the product of a relation of power exercised over bodies, multiplicities, movements, desires, forces.
The individual, with his identity and characteristics, is the product of a relation of power exercised over bodies, multiplicities, movements, desires, forces.
Power is tolerable only on the condition that it masks a substantial part of itself.
Power is tolerable only on the condition that it masks a substantial part of itself.

“Power is not an institution, and not a structure; neither is it a certain strength we are endowed with; it is the name that one attributes to a complex strategical situation in a particular society.”

Michel Foucault

8 Michel Foucault Quotes on Education and Knowledge

Education may well be, as of right, the instrument whereby every individual, in a society like our own, can gain access to any kind of discourse. But we well know that in its distribution, in what it permits and in what it prevents, it follows the well-trodden battle-lines of social conflict. Every educational system is a political means of maintaining or of modifying the appropriation of discourse, with the knowledge and the powers it carries with it.”

Michel Foucault
Knowledge is not for knowing knowledge is for cutting.
Knowledge is not for knowing: knowledge is for cutting.
All teaching systems, which appear simply to disseminate knowledge, are made to maintain a certain social class in power.
All teaching systems, which appear simply to disseminateknowledge, are made to maintain a certain social class in power.

“There is no power relation without the correlative constitution of a field ofknowledge, nor any knowledge that does not presuppose and constitute at the same time power relations.”

Michel Foucault
The perfect disciplinary apparatus would make it possible for a single haze to see everything constantly.
The perfect disciplinary apparatus would make it possible for a single haze to see everything constantly.
The language of psychiatry, which is a monologue by reason... could only have come into existence in such a silence.
The language of psychiatry, which is a monologue by reason… could only have come into existence in such a silence.
To change something in the minds of people - that's the role of an intellectual.
To change something in the minds of people – that’s the role of an intellectual.
One must confront what one is thinking and saying with what one is doing, what one is.
One must confront what one is thinking and saying with what one is doing, what one is.

4 Michel Foucault Quotes on Art

What strikes me is the fact that in our society, art has become something which is only related to objects, and not to individuals, or to life.
What strikes me is the fact that in our society, art has become something which is only related to objects, and not to individuals, or to life.
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.
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.
That art is something which is specialized. But couldn't everyone's life become a work of art?
That art is something which is specialized. 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?
Why should the lamp or the house be an art object, but not our life?

4 Michel Foucault Quotes on Truth

Truth is linked in a circular relation with systems of power which produce and sustain it.
Truth is linked in a circular relation with systems of power which produce and sustain it.
Truth is not by nature free - nor error servile - but that its production is thoroughly imbued with relations of power.
Truth is not by nature free – nor error servile – but that its production is thoroughly imbued with relations of power.
Truth and falsity, will have revealed the face it turned away from us for so long and which is that of its violence.
Truth and falsity, will have revealed the face it turned away from us for so long and which is that of its violence.
To sum up all these steps, each of which is very lengthy and complex, we will have put the game of truth back in the network of constraints and domination.
To sum up all these steps, each of which is very lengthy and complex, we will have put the game oftruth back in the network of constraints and domination.

2 Michel Foucault Quotes on Death

The fear before the absolute limit of death becomes interiorized in a continual process of ionization.
The fear before the absolute limit of death becomes interiorized in a continual process of ionization.
Death left its old tragic heaven and became the lyrical core of man his invisible truth, his visible secret.
Death left its old tragic heaven and became the lyrical core of man: his invisible truth, his visible secret.

2 Michel Foucault Quotes on Writing

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.
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.
Do not ask who I am and do not ask me to remain the same. More than one person, doubtless like me, writes in order to have no face.

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