2019 年 47 巻 2 号 p. 67-86
This essay extends Barbara Biesecker’s rhetorical concept of “lines of intelligibility” as a point of inquiry by revisiting Michel Foucault’s analysis of the institutionalization of madness during the Classical period of the mid-17th century to 18th century. The essay attempts to locate the ways in which lines of intelligibility constitute our perception by forming a grid of representation and recognition. The essay first attends to Foucault’s “The Great Confinement” in History of Madness, and critically demonstrates the ways in which the representations of madness interpellated the perception of madness as misery. It argues that this shift in the system of recognition constituted new meanings of madness that ultimately determined the experience of madness itself. The essay then interrogates how the lines drawn between madness and reason operate. With a critical reading of the Cartesian skepticism discussed by Foucault at the beginning of the chapter, the essay depicts madness as an idea that emerged through delineating the limits of reason. Also, by illustrating the ways in which reason appropriates unreason as its exterior, it argues that power for Foucault holds productive dimensions. Finally, the essay reattends to “The Great Confinement” and attempts to clarify the power of lines that constitute the categories of reason and unreason by forming a grid of making sense. By visualizing a particular arrangement of lines that constituted a particular experience of madness, the essay hopes to reveal the rhetoric of “lines of intelligibility” that regulates what can be represented and perceived within a particular system of recognition.