This is Foucault's central idea. Throughout Madness and Civilization, Foucault insists that madness is not a natural, unchanging thing, but rather depends on the society in which it exists. Various cultural, intellectual, and economic structures determine how madness is known and experienced within a given society. In this way, society constructs its experience of madness. The history of madness cannot be an account of changing attitudes to a particular disease or state of being that remains constant. Madness in the Renaissance was an experience that was integrated into the rest of the world, whereas by the nineteenth century it had become known as a moral and mental disease. In a sense, they are two very different types of madness. Ultimately, Foucault sees madness as being in a certain cultural “space”  within society. The shape of this space, and its effects on the madman, depend on society itself.