Louis Althusser , born with Birmandreis (Algeria) the October 16th 1918, died in the hospital of the Canopy (Yvelines) the October 22nd 1990 and buried with the cemetery of Viroflay, is a Philosophe French. He is regarded as a major actor of the structuralist current of the years 1960 with Claude Lévi-Strauss, Jacques Lacan, Michel Foucault.
Resulting from an Alsatian and catholic family installed in Algeria, it makes studies with Algiers and Marseilles. It integrates then the khâgne Lycée of the Park into Lyon, where it has as professor of philosophy Jean Guitton. Received with the National university in 1939, it is mobilized and made captive in 1940. It passes the remainder of the war to the Stalag of Schleswig, where it knows its first psychiatric disorders (related to a bipolar Trouble). From 1945 to 1948, he is pupil of the ENS: he is received second with the aggregation of philosophy. He becomes Marxist and he integrates the Communist party in 1948. The same year, he becomes assistant with the National university and will remain it until 1980. Its activity is intersected with stays in psychiatric private clinics.
The November 16th 1980, it strangles his wife, Helene Rytmann, in their apartment of the National university; he announces it to the doctor of the ENS, Dr. Etienne, who contacts the psychiatric authorities. Althusser is sent to the Hospital Holy-Anne.
Justice declares it demented person at the time of the facts in February 1981 under the terms of article 64 of the penal code of the time: “there is neither crime nor offense when the defendant was in a state of insanity at the time of the facts” (now replaced by article 122.1: “The person is not penally responsible who was reached, at the moment of the facts, of a mental health disorder or neuro-psychic having abolished its understanding or the control of its acts. ”).
The autobiographical project
In the newspaper Le Monde of the March 14th 1985, Althusser reads an article of Claude Sarraute about the success of the book of the Japanese Issei Sagawa, who told how it had killed and eaten a young Dutchwoman; it had accomplished a short stay in psychiatric hospital in France, then had been returned in its country while profiting from a Non-lieu. Claude Sarraute written: “Us, in the media, as soon as one sees a prestigious name mingled with a juicy lawsuit, Althusser, Thibaut of Orleans, one makes a whole dish of it. The victim? It does not deserve three lines. The high-speed motorboat, it is the culprit. ”
Friends of Althusser suggest to him protesting; but criticism aimed just, because Althusser profited from a withdrawal of case which preserved it of a lawsuit. It thus decides to undertake a Autobiographie to be explained on its gesture: it will be the Future hard a long time (for the genesis of this work, cf the Presentation, by Olivier Corpet and Yann Moulier Boutang, of the Future lasts a long time , Paris, Stock, 1992, p. II sq. in particular).
A play entitled " Caïman" (2006) in scene the murder puts by adding a peel of ambiguity to the reasons of this one.
According to him, it is necessary to return to a scientific and deterministic aspect of the theory Marxiste, against interpretations and uses humanistic and ideological. He affirms that there exists an epistemological cut which it establishes between the young person Marx (Manuscripts of 1844…) and Marx which established the design materialist of the history (the German Ideology, the Capital.). It joined the thesis of Marx according to which any philosophy ignores the practice to which it corresponds, particularly for its idealistic slope.
To see Marx as a philosopher
He undertakes a systematic and meticulous second reading of Marx, to release the scientific bottom from it, against ideological interpretations of the political parties and crushing under the ideology of State of triumphing Stalinism: there it is a question of demolishing the ideologisation of Marx by Stalinism. But also a second reading against humanistic interpretations and economists (who go hand in hand), which edulcorate the direction, the force of invention, analytical power and original, subversive and innovative character on a mode sui generis . In its first collection, For Marx , it states to undertake to read again Marx to release it from the slags deposited by the history: maybe, on the slope of the political history, Stalinism; and on the slope of the history of the ideas (because one cannot speak truly about philosophical tradition in connection with the readings and interpretations of Marx, particularly in France of which it underlines the misery of the philosophical tradition in this field), the evolutionism and the various debased forms of the philosophy of the Lights. For what it is necessary to also add, context, or the state of philosophy at the University, before she knows, in the margins of the latter, a rebirth with Jean Hyppolite, reader and translator of Hegel, Gaston Bachelard, Alexandre Koyré and Georges Canguilhem, fine epistemologists, Martial Gueroult, reader of Spinoza, Marcel Conche redecouvror of the ancient materialists, of Montaigne and attentive reader of Heidegger, Maurice Merleau-Ponty importing of the Phénoménologie in France before Emmanuel Lévinas. A certain nationalism in philosophy reigns at the University, which locks up philosophy in a narrow provincialism making him be unaware of almost the German tradition after Kant, i.e. mainly Hegel and Marx, to ignore epistemology, to scorn the current materialist in philosophy, as well as the psychoanalysis, the whole summarized by a criticism of the state of philosophy in its university form, which teaches a learned ignorance.
Althusser goes according to its holding making Marx again readable, by releasing it from the sediments which recover it, the such statue of Glaucus, marine god evoked for example by Rousseau in the Speech on the origin of the inequality. Rendre Marx again readable is to discover in Marx the philosopher ignored until there. It is a question of the project of discovering its philosophy with work in its Master works the Capital. Also Marx as a theorist of the history, and it is the discovery, inaugurated by Marx, of the " continent histoire" , as practical news of a history which reaches the dimension of science. And Marx as an initiator of a theory of the Capital and criticism of the political economy, the latter qualified by Marx of sublimation of the interests of the middle-class set up in discipline with the erudite claims.
This new legibility initiating a new interest for Marx major theorist, across the misadventures of the political use which had completely erased it until making it almost disappear, will be the fact of an injection of all that the thought comtemporaine account moreover more extremely and creator in the fields of epistemology, linguistics, and the psychoanalysis, of which it is essential certain concepts in their giving a new direction and a new function. Side of the tradition they will be primarily, Hegel, Spinoza, Hobbes, read again and combined Machiavel and all political philosophy, not to say inserted in the middle of the analyzes of Marx. It will be current known as structuralist, anti-humanistic and critical one of the historicism (under the effect of the readings of Heidegger) which, in manner concomittente with Lévi-Strauss, Lacan, and soon Foucault, will reveal in their respective fields of investigation, reality like effect of structures.
This réinvention of Marx will cause a true rebirth of the Marxist thought all at the same time against the Marxism and idealistic flatness reigning at the University. The company on standby met a public like this new soufflé, again the spirit lived philosophy, and for the first time undoubtedly, that of Marx.
The vision of Althusser was very criticized in particular by Marxologue S, but also much more largely: the charge of deformation of the thought of Marx is even present in a film of Jean-Luc Godard, Wind East , where the foreword of Althusser to the Capital is scoffed.
Theory and practical
" In the Thesis n°1 on Ludwig Feuerbach, there exists capital information given by Marx: the major defect of any materialism up to now was the systematic lapse of memory of the practical activity. One should not interpret that like a new philosophy of the praxis. Marx does not utilize a new philosophical concept. It refers to “a reality which has this characteristic to be at the same time presupposed by all the traditional philosophical speeches, and to be about it by nature excludes in person. ” “This irruption of the practice in the philosophical tradition constitutes in the principle a radical criticism of the traditional form of existence of philosophy. ” But, the irruption of the practice, it is the denunciation of this claim of philosophy to embrace the Whole, not to have not outside. This outside, that philosophy wants to give itself the illusion to subject to the truth, it is the practice. The practice not produces the Truth, but the truths.
At Marx, the practice is not a substitute of the Truth for a philosophy inébranlable (as for any philosophy of the praxis). The practice surprises philosophy on its backs. Philosophy estimates “to have introduced into the field of the thought the totality even of all that exists, even mud, said Socrate, even the slave said Aristote, even the accumulation of the richness to a pole and the misery of the other said Hegel. ” Philosophy sees all, thinks all. “In fact, all the social practices are there in philosophy, and the manufacture of the shoes and the ships, and the money, and the wages, and the policy and the family,…” But to succeed in with all gathering under the Truth, philosophy simply did not transport them while respecting their nature. It transformed them. And it is the genius of Marx to have shown how and why it them transforme." Conference of Grenade, 1976, the transformation of philosophy .
" An idealistic philosopher is as a man who knows in advance and from where share the train into which it gets and (…) where the train goes. the materialist, on the contrary, is a man who travels by the train walks from there (the course of the world, the course of the history, the course of its life) but without knowing from which the train comes nor where it va" Materials, 1994
Montesquieu, the policy and the history , PUF, 1959.
- For Marx, Maspero, coll “Theory”, 1965.
- To read the Capital (in collaboration with Etienne Balibar, Roger Establet, Pierre Macherey and Jacques Rancière), Maspero, coll “Theory”, 2 volumes, 1965.
- Lénine and philosophy , Maspero, coll “Theory” 1969.
- Answer to John Lewis , Maspero, coll “Theory”, 1973.
- Philosophy and spontaneous philosophy of the scientists (1967), Maspero, coll “Theory”, 1974.
- Elements of self-criticism , Hatchet, coll “Analyzes”, 1974.
- Positions , Éditions Social, 1976. “Essential” republication coll, 1982.
- XXIIe Congrès, Maspero, coll “Theory”, 1977.
- What cannot last any more in the Communist party , Maspero, coll “Theory”, 1978.
- the future lasts a long time (followed the facts )], Stock/IMEC, 1992.
- Newspaper of captivity (Stalag #4 1940-1945), Stock/IMEC, 1992.
- Written on the psychoanalysis . Freud and Lacan, Stock/IMEC, 1993.
- On philosophy , Gallimard, coll “the infinite one”, 1994.
- Philosophy and Marxism : discussions with Fernanda Navarro (1984-1987)
- the Transformation of philosophy : conference of Grenade (1976).
- Written philosophical and political 1 , texts joined together by François Matheron, Stock/IMEC, 1994. - 588 p.
- the international one of the finer feelingss (1946)
- the return to Hegel (1950)
- On the marital obscenity (1951)
- Marx within its limits (1978)
- On the reproduction , PUF, coll “Current Marx Confrontations”, 1995.
- Written philosophical and political 2 , texts joined together by François Matheron, Stock/Imec, 1995. - 606 p.
- Machiavel and us (1972-1986)
- On Feuerbach (1967)
- On Lévi Strauss (1966)
- On Brecht and Marx (1968)
- Cremoni , painter of the abstract (1977)
- Lam (1977)
- Loneliness of Machiavel , presentation of Yves Sintomer, PUF, coll “Current Marx Confrontations”, 1998.
- To think Louis Althusser , the Time of Cherries, 2006 Political
- and History of Machiavel with Marx - Course at the National university 1955-1972 , Threshold, coll Hard copies, 2006
IMEC Files (in load of the edition of the work of Althusser)
- To handle for better being able () to explain. The account autofictionnel '' the future lasts a long time '' of Louis Althusser
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