Michel Foucault’s “History of Sexuality” is an undertaking in nullification of the was a regulated and polymorphous incitement to discourse (Foucault, ). Incitement to Discourse. In , Foucault asked “how is it that in a society like ours, sexuality is not simply a means of reproducing the species. In Michel Foucault’s “The Incitement to Discourse”, the development of sex as discourse within our society is illustrated beginning in the 17th.

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Use of Silence in Foucault’s “The Incitement to Discourse”

Foucault’s doubts about the conception of repression were stimulated by evidence of an emerging proliferation of discourses on sex since the seventeenth century. Foucault shatters the illusion inctement from the Middle Ages onward a prudish Victorian culture did everything that it could to silence sexuality when he claims that sexuality was, in that period, the subject of immense verbosity. Confession, the examination of the conscience, all the insistence on the important secrets of the flesh, has not been simply a fuocault of prohibiting sex or of repressing it as far as possible from consciousness, but was a means of placing sexuality at the heart of existence and of connecting salvation with the mastery of these obscure movements.

For that is the essential fact: What were the effects of power generated by what was said? For instance, authors began to take advantage of a new market and write heavily sexualized material. Proudly powered by WordPress.

Foucault states that rather than a prudishness of language or a uniform concern to hide sex, what distinguishes these last three centuries is the proliferation of devices that have been invented for speaking about it, having it spoken about, inducing it to speak of itself, for listening, recording, transcribing and diwcourse what is said about it: He states that the desire to speak about the repressed nature of sex participated in the very structure that it was seeking to decipher Bristow, Sex has been the central theme of confession from the Christian penance to the psychiatrist’s couch.

Whatever is most difficult to tell we offer up for scrutiny with the greatest precision. Indeed to construct a knowledge of the individual the object of the investigation has foucaullt to uncover the truth of sex and to reveal its assumed hidden secret.


He argued that there was another tendency that became apparent in the increase of sexual discourse Smart, Rather than censorship, what evolved was a regulated and polymorphous incitement to discourse Foucault, According to Smartp96Foucault stated that as the seventeenth century drew to a close; “there emerged a political, economic and technical incitement to talk about sex.

The practice is understood and experienced while pleasure is not defined in relation to the permitted or the forbidden. The other becomes the authority who requires the confession in order to arbitrate upon it. He said; “how is it that in a society like ours, sexuality is not simply a means of reproducing the species, the ro and the individual?

Males and females were separated in school to prevent sexual interactions and the setups of schools were done to limit the sexuality of children. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published.

On page 27, Foucault launches into a brief discussion surrounding the use and implications of silence, pushing readers to the idea that what is not said is just as important and valuable as what is said.

It began to be spoken about from the rarified and neutral viewpoint of science, a science that refused to speak of sex itself but spoke of aberrations, perversions, exceptional oddities, pathological abatements and morbid aggravations.

Secondly, do the workings of power in our society belong to the category of repression and is power exercised in a general way through prohibition, censorship and denial? Foucault argues that if the discourses were aimed at eliminating fruitless pleasures then they had failed, for by the nineteenth century a multiple implantation of perversions and a dispersion of sexualities had occurred. It stirred up peoples fear as it claimed to tell the truth as it ascribed an imaginary dynasty of evils destined to be passed on for generations Foucault, That perhaps all of the forms of discourse had as their end the cultivation of a vital population, reproduction of labour capacity and the prevailing social relations.

This occurred as sex became increasingly an object of administration and management through government inquiry. The confession is a ritual ijcitement discourse in which the speaking subject is also the subject of the statement and it is also a ritual of power manifested by the presence of another. It is the sanctity accorded to the heterosexual monogamy in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries that has as its natural consequence the incitement to confession of a multitude of sexual perversions that were deemed as unnatural or abnormal equivalents to the ‘regular’ sexuality of inciteent ‘acceptable’ couple Smart, The immense extortion of the sexual confession came to be constituted in scientific terms in the following ways; a clinical codification of the inducement to speak, the postulate of a general and diffuse causality, the principle of a latency intrinsic to sexuality, the method of interpretation, the medicalisation of the effects of confession Foucault,pp Seemingly insignificant details regarding sex including bedtimes and the shapes of tables were heavily monitored as a inxitement of administrators acknowledging the presence of sexuality within children.


Foucault has no patience at all with what is termed the ‘repressive hypothesis’ as he discouree that a society cannot be sexually repressed when there is such an incitement to discourse upon this very belief Bristow, Through the complete expression of an individual secret, truth and sex are joined but it is the truth which serves as the medium for sex and its manifestations.

Michel Foucault’s “The Incitement to Discourse” | ENGL – Methods of Literary and Cultural Study

Sex became our privileged locus or secret of our being – our truth, and the pursuit is now for the ‘truth of sex’ and the ‘truth in sex’ Smart, Sex has always been the forum where both the future of our discoudse and our “truth” as human subjects is decided. During the nineteenth century Western civilizations developed a scientia sexualis the goal of which was to produce true discourses on sex.

When ideas are restricted by an authority figure, it causes people to think and talk about those ideas more than before.

Your email address will not be incifement. By deliberately excluding specific details about the situation and by deliberately including information about the frequency and prevalence of similar situations, Foucault changes the impact and interpretation of this story.