Althusser: The Detour of Theory (2nd Edition) (Historical - download pdf or read online

By Gregory Elliott

ISBN-10: 9004153373

ISBN-13: 9789004153370

First released in 1987, Althusser, The Detour of concept was once commonly got because the fullest account of its topic so far. Drawing on quite a lot of hitherto untranslated fabric, it tested the political and highbrow contexts of Althusser’s ‘return to Marx’ within the mid-1960s; analysed the radical personality of the Marxism constructed in his significant works; charted their author’s next evolution, from his self-criticism to the proclamation of a ‘crisis of Marxism’; and concluded with a balance-sheet of Althusser’s contribution to ancient materialism.

For this moment version, Gregory Elliott has additional a considerable postscript within which he surveys the posthumous variation of the French philosopher’s paintings released within the Nineteen Nineties, from the early writings of the Nineteen Forties via to the past due texts of the Eighties, referring to the unknown Althusser printed by means of them to the wide-spread determine of For Marx and examining Capital, including a entire bibliography of Althusser’s oeuvre.


[…]The Detour of conception needs to be counted as among the simplest biographies of a postwar Marxist; Elliott, intimately, tracks Althusser’s varied positions over the years at the nature of philosophy and its relation to technology and old materialism.
Simon Chilvers, Macquarie college, assessment of Radical Political Economics, March 2011, forty three: 115-117

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Extra resources for Althusser: The Detour of Theory (2nd Edition) (Historical Materialism Book Series, Volume 13)

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Surveying the field of Marxist theory in the early 1960s, Althusser delineated two main paradigms (though with many variations on the themes): what he called ‘economism’ and ‘humanism/ historicism’. The former, he contended, represented a Marxist version of technological determinism, the latter a species of Hegelianism. Both derived in the final analysis from ideologies which Marx had transformed in order to produce the science of historical materialism – English political economy and German idealist philosophy – and both led, by however devious a route, to another (and this was the political rub): utopian socialism.

Lined up against the Hegel of the Logic and the Marx of Capital were the younger Hegel of Jena and the young Marx of Paris. The proletariat, Lukács avowed in 1919, ‘is the sole legitimate heir to [classical German] philosophy and . . 82 Hostile to Marx’s early works, it liquidated the overtly Hegelian heritage from Marxism and reimposed a mechanical materialism of the productive forces as unquestionable orthodoxy within the international Communist movement. From 1938 onwards, this version of Marxism was enshrined in Stalin’s Dialectical and Historical Materialism, which was to serve as a catechism for all Communists.

This scientific use is the sole criterion of the dialectic. 32 Stalin had therefore been correct to excise the teleological ‘negation of the negation’ from the ‘laws’ of the dialectic, as had Mao to specify the concrete structure of its hitherto abstract notion of contradiction. 33 This did not amount to proof of the common charge of ‘metaphysical materialism’ entered against Marxism, however, since for dialectical materialism it ‘is not for a metaphysics of nature to deduce the structure of reality; it is the role of the 29 Althusser 1997, p.

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Althusser: The Detour of Theory (2nd Edition) (Historical Materialism Book Series, Volume 13) by Gregory Elliott

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