[Foucault-L] Maladie mentale et personnalité

Foucault concludes the final chapter (‘Le maladie et l’existance’) of Part One (‘Les dimensions psychologique de la maladie’) of Maladie mentale et personnalité with the following statment :

‘Mais c’est peut-être toucher là un des paradoxes de la maladie mentale qui contraignent à de nouvelles formes d’analyses : si cette subjectivité de l’insensé est, en même temps, vocation et abandon au monde, n’est-ce pas au monde lui-même qu’il faut demander le secret de cette subjectivité énigmatique ? Après en avoir explore les dimensions extérieures, n’est-on pas amené forcément à considérer ses conditions extérieures et objectives ?’ (Mmp: 69).

Which I have translated as follows:

But here we have perhaps touched upon one of the paradoxes of mental illness that demands new forms of analysis: if the subjectivity of the insane is, at the same time, a call to and an abandonment of the world, is it not of the world itself that we should ask the secret of this enigmatic subjectivity? After having explored the external dimensions, are we not necessarily led to consider its exterior and objective conditions?

Now my question concerns the first external/exterior (extérieures) in the last sentence.
I have read a number of texts that have suggested that this is actually a misprint and should read internal/interior (intérieures) (e.g. Bernauer, J. W., Michel Foucault’s Force of Flight, London, 1990: 187).
I have also read a number of texts which have simply rendered this as internal without explanation.

So, my question is, is this a misprint or not?

What Foucault discusses in this chapter is the twin tasks of a phenomenology of mental illness: noetic – noematic (Mmp: 55-56). The first of these tasks aims to describe the experience that the ill person has of their illness; the second attempts to analyse the existential structured of the experienced pathological world: Umwelt, Mitwelt, Eigenwelt (61-64, 64-65, 65-67 respectively).

Could not the first external in the last sentence cited above be referring to this noematic analysis? Since what it addresses are the contradictions between the experienced pathological world and the real world. And so this last sentence could read:

“After having explored the external dimensions [the pathological world], are we not necessarily led to consider its exterior and objective conditions [the real world]?”

I may be totally wrong about this, which is why I wanted to see what others had to say before I proceed any further.


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  • Re: [Foucault-L] Maladie mentale et personnalité
    • From: Thomas Lord
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    • From: Fouad Kalouche
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