Comparing Foucault's Discipline And Punish

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One of Foucault’s main points in his book Discipline and Punish is how the relationship between power and knowledge coincide. To punish and discipline someone, you need power and knowledge. Foucault states that power cannot exist without knowledge, and knowledge cannot exist without power. Punishment is the expression of absolute power, but to punish someone, one must have both knowledge and power. During medieval times, the king had absolute power and was able to implement whatever punishment techniques he wanted. The passage on page 35 of Foucault’s book further explains how power and knowledge related during that time and how they were used to discipline. It begins by stating that during the sixteenth century, most European countries had…show more content…
In this circumstance, knowledge came with power. This procedure of only the most powerful people having information on the trial came about due to the fear that there would be disorder and violence if the information on cases were made public. It was a concern that if knowledge on the criminal cases were accessible to all people, then they would all have opinions, and might try to express those opinions, which could possibly lead to chaos or violence. The public’s lack of access to knowledge was because “the king wished to show in this that the ‘sovereign power’ from which the right to punish derived could in no case belong to the ‘multitude’” (Foucault, 36). The king used his power to limit the amount of knowledge that the public could have access to. By doing this, the king also gained more power because no one can oppose to his rulings if they don’t have information on the case, so then his rulings and power are maintained and never questioned. This example of the power and disciplinary system shows how much power and knowledge relate to each other, and how you cannot have one without the

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