Professional Ethics Essay

Submitted By keiyana1
Words: 566
Pages: 3

Keiyana Morris Professional Ethics October 1, 2013 Professor Rayman
The Scientific Knowledge of the Individual

In the book, Discipline and Punish, by Michel Foucault, Foucault explains the reform of the penal system and how it shifted from punishment to understanding the criminal as an individual by reaching “...the thoughts, the will, and inclinations”(DP, 16). Foucault states, “certainly the ‘crimes’ and ‘offenses’ on which judgment is passed are juridical objects defined by the code, but judgment is passed on the passions, instincts, anomalies, infirmities, maladjustments, effects of environment or heredity...”(DP, 17). This lead to understanding the scientific knowledge of the individual and what it was that lead the criminal to do the act by evaluating the magnitude of their drives, and emotional state in the duration of the crime. Knowing the history and social experiences of the individual and eventually revealing the whole ‘truth’ of the crime. The reform movement also considered the ‘humanity’ of the criminal. “The day was to come, in the nineteenth century, when this ‘man’, discovered in the criminal, would become the target of penal intervention, the object that it claimed to correct and transform...”(DP, 74). The century of the penal reform now sought to restructure their power by punishing less severe and creating a new scientific way of punishing the criminal in a way of understanding his soul. The punishment had to fit the crime and deter the individual away from recommitting the crime. To add,“...The machinery that assumes responsibility for and places under surveillance their everyday behavior, their identity, their activity, their apparently unimportant gesture...” (DP, 78). The criminals were observed and put into smaller groups to be surveillance. Foucault then explains the technique of obstacle signs obeying certain conditions. To mention one, is to “...reduce the desire that makes the crime attractive; increase the interest that makes the penalty to be feared...”(DP, 106). By reaching the evil inclinations and interests of the crime that best fit to punish these individuals through forced labor. Making the crime irritable and shameful to the criminal. “And one will begin by teaching it to him for his own benefit; one will show what it is to lose the freedom to dispose as one