Resuming the Broken Dialogue : On Madness and the Limits of Reason in Michel Foucault and Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav

University essay from


This thesis is a comparative study of Michel Foucault's History of Madness and Rabbi Nachman's teachings 64 and 5 from Liqqutei Moharan and Liqqutei Moharan Tinyana, respectively. The author compares how both authors conceive of madness and the limits of reason. The study is divided in three parts. The first and second parts are analytical, dealing with History of Madness and Nachman's teachings. At the beginning of the second part, the author also provides a general introduction to madness in Early Chasidism and a short biography of Nachman. Finally, in the third part, the author compares Foucault's and Nachman's thought in three sections: madness vindicated, reason exposed and power & the void. By reading Foucault through the lenses of Nachman and vice versa, the author attempts to provide new insights into the work of both.

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