Philosophy of the Encounter: Later Writings, 1978-87

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Verso, 2006 - Philosophy - 299 pages
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In the late 1970s and 1980s, Louis Althusser endured a period of intense mental instability during which he murdered his wife and was committed to a psychiatric hospital. Spanning this deeply troubling period, this fourth and final volume of political and philosophical writings reveals Althusser wrestling in a creative and unorthodox fashion with a whole series of theoretical problems to produce some of his very finest work. In his profound exploration of questions of determinism and contingency, Althusser developed a "philosophy of the encounter," which he links to a hidden and subterranean tradition in the history of Western thought which stretches from Epicurus through Spinoza and Machiavelli to Marx, Derrida and Heidegger.

 

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Contents

Note on the French Texts
vii
Translators Introduction
xiii
Letter to Merab Mardashvili
1
Marx in his Limits
7
The Underground Current of
163
Correspondence about
208
Philosophy and Marxism
251
Portrait of the Materialist Philosopher
290
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About the author (2006)

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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