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Louis Althusser

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{{Infobox_Philosopher | <!-- Scroll down to edit this page --> <!-- Philosopher Category --> region = Western Philosophers | era = [[20th-century philosophy]] | color = #B0C4DE |  <!-- Image and Caption --> image_name = Louis Althusser.jpg | image_caption = Louis Althusser |  <!-- Information --> name = Louis Althusser | birth = [[October 16]], [[1918]] ([[Birmendreïs]], [[Algeria]]) | death = [[October 23]], [[1990]] ([[Paris]], [[France]]) | school_tradition = [[Marxism]], [[Structuralism]] | main_interests = [[Politics]], [[Economics]], [[Ideology]] | influences = [[Karl Marx]], [[Antonio Gramsci]], [[Sigmund Freud]], [[Jacques Lacan]] | influenced = [[Michel Foucault]], [[Alain Badiou]], [[Étienne Balibar]], [[Judith Butler]], [[Anthony Giddens]] | notable_ideas = The 'Epistemological Break', Overdetermination, Ideological State Apparatuses |}} '''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.
== Biographical information ==
Althusser has had broad influence in the areas of [[Marxist philosophy]] and [[post-structuralism]]. [[Interpellation]] has been popularised and adapted by the [[feminist]] philosopher and critic [[Judith Butler]]. The attempt to view history as a process without a [[subject (philosophy)|subject]] garnered sympathy from [[Jacques Derrida]]. [[Historical materialism]] was defended as a coherent doctrine from the standpoint of [[analytic philosophy]] by [[G. A. Cohen]]. The interest in [[structure and agency]] sparked by Althusser was to play a role in [[Anthony Giddens]]'s [[theory of structuration]]. Althusser was vehemently attacked by British [[historian]] [[E. P. Thompson]] in his book ''The Poverty of Theory''. As well as this, several of Althusser's students became eminent intellectuals in the [[1970s]], [[1980s]] and [[1990s]]: [[Alain Badiou]] and [[Étienne Balibar]] in [[philosophy]], [[Jacques Ranciere]] in [[history]] and the [[philosophy of history]], [[Pierre Macherey]] in [[literary criticism]] and [[Nicos Poulantzas]] in [[sociology]]. The prominent [[Guevarist]] [[Régis Debray]] also studied under Althusser.
== Endnotes ==
#{{note|ISA}} The concept may be found in the text ''Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses'', published in English in ''Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays'', available online [ here]
#{{note|ISA169}} ''Ibid.'', p.169-70
Althusser, Louis 3, 158-9
ideological interpellation 141, 145, 258, 260 influence on others 127-8, 232 overdetermination 102
[[Category:20th century philosophers|Althusser, Louis]]
[[Category:Alumni of the École Normale Supérieure|Althusser, Louis]]
[[Category:Continental philosophers|Althusser, Louis]]
[[Category:Deaths from cardiovascular disease|Althusser, Louis]]
[[Category:French Communist Party members|Althusser, Louis]]
[[Category:French philosophers|Althusser, Louis]]
[[Category:Marxist theorists|Althusser, Louis]]
[[Category:PhilosophersPhilosophy|Althusser, Louis]][[Category:Political philosophers|Althusser, Louis]]  [[Category:PeoplePolitics]][[Category:NamesMarxism]]

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