A Reconstitution of the Tragic Experience in Foucault s History of Madness

Miloš Kriššák

The paper is a reading of Michel Foucault’s History of Madness. The aim is to show that the purpose of Foucault’s “archaeology of unreason” is the reconstitution of tragic experience. It is shown that “an archaeology of silence” does not equal expressing madness itself; rather, it is an attempt to reveal the silence and deception of reason, insofar as reason hides its original dialogue with unreason. The second step reveals the birth of the question of the tragic in a dynamic relationship of reasonunreason, interpreted symmetrically to the Nietzschean concept of the Apollonian and the Dionysian.