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

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 Nineteen Sixties and Seventies. millions of pages of formerly unpublished paintings from varied sessions of Althusser's profession were made on hand in French given that his demise in 1990. in line with meticulous examine of the philosopher's posthumous guides, in addition to his unpublished manuscripts, lecture notes, letters, and marginalia, Warren Montag offers a thoroughgoing reevaluation of Althusser's philosophical undertaking.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, relatively Foucault, Derrida, Deleuze, and Lacan. interpreting Althusser's philosophy as a sequence of encounters together with his peers' idea, Montag contends that Althusser's significant philosophical confrontations revolved round 3 subject matters: constitution, topic, and beginnings and endings. analyzing Althusser examining his contemporaries, Montag sheds new mild on structuralism, poststructuralism, and the intense second of French proposal within the Nineteen Sixties and Nineteen Seventies.

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The discussions that followed the presentations were transcribed and included in the text of the proceedings. A number of the presentations sought to reconcile genesis and structure as complementary elements equally necessary to rational historical and scientific inquiry. Derrida’s paper (which would be included in an amended version in Writing and Difference) was distinguished from the others in its attempt to interrogate these concepts, together with their supposed opposition or complementarity, critically.

Are there not dozens, even hundreds, of books alone devoted to this topic (the Library of Congress as of 2010 listed nine hundred books on structuralism)? That there exists a generally shared sense of what structuralism is or was cannot be denied. Scholars in the humanities and social sciences know the name of Saussure and can recite the list of conceptual pairs (the famous “binary oppositions”) around which, it is generally agreed, all structuralist activity was unfailingly organized: the signifier and the signified, the synchronic and the diachronic, and perhaps, more recently, structure and agency.

26 Accordingly, the structure of historical existence is such that all the elements of the whole always co-­exist in one and the same time, one and the same present, and are therefore contemporaneous with one another in one and the same present. 27 Toward a Prehistory of Structuralism 31 History, according to such a conception, becomes a continuous succession of totalities whose separation into distinct periods becomes the primary task of the historian. ” Some of the most famous structuralist works, works being written as Althusser spoke these lines in the seminar on Capital (he refers directly to those of Lévi-­Strauss), which, far from having surpassed Hegel as their authors believed, merely repeated his theses on history in a new scientific lexicon among whose master-­concepts diachrony and synchrony reigned supreme.

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


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