By Warren Montag

ISBN-10: 0822399040

ISBN-13: 9780822399049

Althusser and His Contemporaries alters and expands figuring out of Louis Althusser and French philosophy of the Sixties and Nineteen Seventies. millions of pages of formerly unpublished paintings from diverse sessions of Althusser's profession were made to be had in French on the grounds that his dying in 1990. in line with meticulous research of the philosopher's posthumous courses, in addition to his unpublished manuscripts, lecture notes, letters, and marginalia, Warren Montag offers a thoroughgoing reevaluation of Althusser's philosophical undertaking.

Montag indicates that the theorist used to be intensely engaged with the paintings of his contemporaries, rather Foucault, Derrida, Deleuze, and Lacan. analyzing Althusser's philosophy as a chain of encounters together with his peers' notion, Montag contends that Althusser's significant philosophical confrontations revolved round 3 issues: constitution, topic, and beginnings and endings. examining Althusser examining his contemporaries, Montag sheds new mild on structuralism, poststructuralism, and the intense second of French notion within the Sixties and Seventies.

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Additional info for Althusser and His Contemporaries: Philosophy’s Perpetual War

Example text

History is no longer that infinite space in which are haphazardly scattered the innumerable works of caprice and accident, to the discouragement of the understanding. . ”13 But Montesquieu, it appears, cannot escape the problem of a separation between essence and its expression, between the model and its realization. For if the nature of a government is inseparable from and even in an important sense subordinate to the principle insofar as the actions determine this nature, what determines the principle itself, the passion of virtue in democracies, honor in monarchies, and fear in despotic states?

20 His Mémoire “On Content in the Thought of G. W. F. 21 Further, he published two short pieces on Hegel in the same period: “Man, that Night” a review of Kojève’s Introduction to the Reading of Hegel (1947) and “The Return to Hegel: the Last Word in Academic Revisionism” (published anonymously in 1950), a critique of the Hegel revival in France in the immediate postwar period, especially Hyppolite’s work. 22 We should be careful, however, not to take this period as an epistemological break in the sense that Althusser ultimately rejected: a break reducible to a before and an after.

2 It also, however, and perhaps even more importantly, reflected his excitement at contemporary developments in the sciences, social sciences, and in philosophy—his sense that his own work was part of a larger movement. Indeed, his voluminous correspondence with Franca Madonia, the Italian translator of Althusser and Lévi-­Strauss during the crucial years 1961– 68, reveals the eagerness with which Althusser devoured the monuments of structuralism. In November 1962 he reports the extraordinary nature of his encounter with Foucault’s Histoire de la folie à l’âge classique: I am in the midst of reading, what might be called reading, quickly and deeply, reacting to every sign at each instant, taking notes so that no idea escapes me—the little devils sometimes move more quickly than my pen—a capital book.

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Althusser and His Contemporaries: Philosophy’s Perpetual War by Warren Montag


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