The Humanist Controversy and Other Writings (1966-67)

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Verso, 2003 - Philosophy - 318 pages
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There can be little doubt that Louis Althusser was one of the most influential philosophers of the twentieth century, and his influence subsists in many of the concepts currently deployed in disciplines such as cultural studies, social theory and literary criticism.

Yet Althusser was also a leading intellectual in the French Communist Party and a foremost participant in the debates in the human sciences that are marked by the names of Claude Lévi-Strauss, Jacques Lacan and Georges Canguilhem. His writings were major interventions in a specific political and theoretical conjuncture and it is this aspect of his work that this new collection of previously untranslated texts seeks to reflect.

Consisting of writings from the very height of Althusser's intellectual powers, during the period 1966-67, this book covers, among other things, the critique of Lévi-Strauss's structuralism, the theory of discourse and its relationship to psychoanalysis, the place of Ludwig Feuerbach, the tasks of Marxist philosophy, and the famous "humanist controversy."
 

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Contents

List of Abbreviations
vii
The Philosophical Conjuncture and Marxist
1
On LeviStrauss
19
Three Notes on the Theory of Discourses
33
On Feuerbach
85
The Historical Task of Marxist Philosophy
155
The Humanist Controversy
221
Index
307
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About the author (2003)

Louis Althusser was born in Algeria in 1918 and died in France in 1990. He taught philosophy for many years at the Ecole Normale Superieur in Paris, and was a leading intellectual in the French Communist Party. His books include For Marx; Reading Capital (with Etienne Balibar); Essays in Ideology; Politics and History: Montesquieu, Rousseau, Marx; Machiavelli and Us; and The Spectre of Hegel.

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