Michel Foucault
Michel Foucault born Paul-Michel Foucault (15 October 1926 – 25 June 1984), was a French philosopher, social theorist and historian of ideas. He held a chair at the Collège de France
Collège de France
The Collège de France is a higher education and research establishment located in Paris, France, in the 5th arrondissement, or Latin Quarter, across the street from the historical campus of La Sorbonne at the intersection of Rue Saint-Jacques and Rue des Écoles...

 with the title "History of Systems of Thought," and lectured at the University at Buffalo and the University of California, Berkeley
University of California, Berkeley
The University of California, Berkeley , is a teaching and research university established in 1868 and located in Berkeley, California, USA...


Foucault is best known for his critical studies
Critical theory
Critical theory is an examination and critique of society and culture, drawing from knowledge across the social sciences and humanities. The term has two different meanings with different origins and histories: one originating in sociology and the other in literary criticism...

 of social institutions, most notably psychiatry
Psychiatry is the medical specialty devoted to the study and treatment of mental disorders. These mental disorders include various affective, behavioural, cognitive and perceptual abnormalities...

, medicine, the human sciences and the prison system, as well as for his work
The History of Sexuality
The History of Sexuality is a three-volume series of books by French philosopher and historian Michel Foucault written between 1976 and 1984...

 on the history of human sexuality
History of human sexuality
The social construction of sexual behavior—its taboos, regulation and social and political impact—has had a profound effect on the various cultures of the world since prehistoric times.- Sources :...


The soul is the prison of the body.

Discipline & Punish (1977) as translated by Alan Sheridan, p. 30

I'm very proud that some people think that I'm a danger for the intellectual health of students. When people start thinking of health in intellectual activities, I think there is something wrong. In their opinion I am a dangerous man, since I am a crypto-Marxist, an irrationalist, a nihilist.

Truth, Power, Self : An Interview with Michel Foucault (25 October 1982)

Qui définit le moment où j'écris?

How to define the moment that I write?

One can say that the author is an ideological product, since we represent him as the opposite of his historically real function. (When a historically given function is represented in a figure that inverts it, one has an ideological production.) The author is therefore the ideological figure by which one marks the manner in which we fear the proliferation of meaning.

"What is an author?" (1984)

There is object proof that homosexuality is more interesting than heterosexuality. It's that one knows a considerable number of heterosexuals who would wish to become homosexuals, whereas one knows very few homosexuals who would really like to become heterosexuals.

As quoted in Who's Who in Contemporary Gay & Lesbian History: From World War II to the Present Day (2001) by Robert Aldrich and Gary Wotherspoon ISBN 041522974X