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A Critique Of Hegelianism

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses certain concepts concerning Marxism that Louis Althusser put forward in the 1960s and 1970s: overdetermination, underdetermination, the revolutionary nature of theory, the nature of the actions of the political actor and the question of the 'last instance'. The discussion prepares the basis for an understanding of the problematics of Althusser's aleatory materialism. The critique of Hegelianism is based primarily on the section of 'Soutenance d’Amiens' entitled 'La dernière instance...'. Althusser's Éléments d&s;autocritique is also discussed in the chapter as it is relevant because Althusser discusses the question of the 'revolutionary nature of theory', which is an essential element in his interpretation of Niccolò Machiavelli. Althusser's interpretation of the central concepts of Marxism and the philosophical differentia specifica - 'position' - for instance in relation to Hegelianism and theoretical humanism, is essentially the same before and after the self-criticism.

Keywords: Éléments d&s;autocritique; Hegelianism; Louis Althusser; Marxism; Niccolò Machiavelli; Soutenance d’Amiens



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