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Louis Althusser

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In the work of Slavoj Žižek
'''Louis Pierre Althusser''' (October 16, 1918 - October 23, 1990) was a [[Marxist]] [[philosopher]]. He was born in [[Algeria]] and studied at the prestigious [[École Normale Supérieure]] in [[Paris]], where he eventually became Professor of Philosophy. He was a leading academic proponent of the [[French Communist Party]] and his arguments were a response to multiple threats to the ideological foundations of that socialist project. These included both the influence of [[empiricism]] which was beginning to influence [[Marxist]] sociology and economics, and growing interest in humanistic and democratic socialist orientations which were beginning to cause division in the European Communist Parties. Althusser is commonly referred to as a [[Structural Marxism|Structural Marxist]], although his relationship to other schools of French [[structuralism]] is not a simple affiliation.
=====In the work of Slavoj Žižek=====The work of French Marxist philosopher Louis Althusser (1918–1990) is important for Žižek in a variety of ways. This is most apparent in Žižek’s conception of ideology, as it is at least partially against the backdrop of Althusser’s own conception of ideology that Žižek’s is constructed. In order to see this relationship, we should first say a bit about Althusser’s conception of ideology.
[[Category:Althusser rejects the traditional Marxist conception of ideology as a kind of simple false consciousness that can be completely overcome or set right by proper Marxist theory|analysis. Rather, for Althusser, ideology is always in operation in our subjective awareness. Th at is, as Althusserputs it in For Marx, Louis]][[Categoryall consciousness is ideological (Althusser 1969:Philosophy|33). According to Althusser, Louis]][[Category:Politics]] : even though particular historical ideological interpellation 141forms come into being and pass away, 145much like the Lacanian concept of the “symbolic”, 258the structure of ideology is an ever-present feature of conscious life. His theory of interpellation, 260given in the famous piece entitled “Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses: Notes Toward an Investigation” (Althuser 1971: influence 85 –126), is meant to further expand on others 127-8, 232: overdetermination 102and explain this point.

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