Louis althusser lenin and philosophy and other essays pdf

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louis althusser lenin and philosophy and other essays pdf

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I n a body of work which has received considerable attention in France and elsewhere and become one of the focal points of contemporary Marxist controversy, Louis Althusser has registered the necessity for a reading of Marx at once critical and rigorous. Rigorous : the condition for the fruitful application and further elaboration of these concepts is a strict and scrupulous regard for their definitions, their implications, their scope and their boundaries, for what they exclude as much as for what they include. Only by dint of this will Marxist research escape the pitfalls of taking these concepts for what they are not and of remaining satisfied with the inadequate substitutes which can masquerade in their place. The insistence on this double requirement bears witness to the selfconscious intention of a Communist philosopher to avoid both the shackles of uncritical orthodoxy and the temptations of conceptual imprecision. Unable to provide an adequate scientific knowledge of the real political problems thrown up by this struggle, and offering instead the imaginary comforts of merely ideological formulae, such tendencies cannot contribute to the solution of these problems and may indeed be impediments to their solution. The stakes, ultimately, are political.
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Althusser and Ideology

Lenin and Philosophy

May I thank your Society for the honour it has done me in inviting me to present to it what it has called, since it came into existence, and what it will doubtless long continue to call, by a disarmingly nostalgic name: a communication. A scientist is justified in presenting a communication before a scientific society. A communication and a discussion are only possible if they are scientific. But a philosophical communication and a philosophical discussion? Philosophical communication. This term would certainly have made Lenin laugh, with that whole-hearted, open laugh by which the fishermen of Capri recognized him as one of their kind and on their side.

No figure among the western Marxist theoreticians has loomed larger in the postwar period than Louis Althusser. A rebel against the Catholic tradition in which.
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This content was uploaded by our users and we assume good faith they have the permission to share this book. If you own the copyright to this book and it is wrongfully on our website, we offer a simple DMCA procedure to remove your content from our site. Start by pressing the button below! If I wished to sum up the peculiar object and ambitions of this investigation in a few words, I should say, first, that at a time and in a world which either stubbornly fight against Marx or cover him in academic honours while distorting him in bourgeois interpretations economism, technocratism, humanism , I have tried to re-emphasize the fact that we owe to him the greatest discovery of human history : the discovery that opens for men the way to a scientific materialist and dialectical understanding of their own history as a history of the class struggle. I should then say that this science cannot be a science like any other, a science for 'everyone'. Precisely because it 7 8 Louis Althusser reveals the mechanisms of class exploitation, repression and domination, in the economy, in politics and in ideology, it cannot be recognized by everyone. This science, which brings the social classes face to face with their truth, is unbearable for the bourgeoisie and its allies, who reject it and take refuge in their so-called 'social sciences' : it is only acceptable to the proletariat, whom it 'represents' Marx.

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No figure loomed larger than Althusser in Marxist thought in the West during the s and 70s—the decades in which the Soviet model was discredited in the West and new avenues opened up in Marxist philosophy and politics. Althusser stood out for his attempt to define a Marxist philosophy that was rigorous, scientific, and revolutionary. In the process he set new standards of argumentation for Marxist theory. As Jameson shows in his introduction, the essays that had so massive and fertile an influence in those decades continue to speak to us today. The book opens with a interview in which he discusses his personal, political and intellectual history. His books include For Marx and Reading Capital , both initially published in , and Machiavelli and Us , published posthumously in

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