Between subject and citizen

‘All things excellent are as difficult as they are rare.’ Spinoza’s maxim, the last sentence of The Ethics, serves as a fitting observation with which to begin a discussion of Étienne Balibar’s Citizen Subject: Foundations for Philosophical Anthropology, given the difficulty proper to the excellence of his text. Its difficulty is not, or not only, […]

Figures of interpellation in Althusser and Fanon

Figures of interpellation in Althusser and Fanon Pierre macherey The text that Althusser published in 1970 under the title ‘Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses’, where he puts forward the thesis of the individual’s interpellation as subject, is no doubt one of his most innovative, but it is also particularly disconcerting: its exposition, in exploiting a […]

From the Archive: Rancière, Althusser and Ideology

The first English translation of Jacques Rancière’s 1969 essay ‘On the Theory of Ideology’ (drafted for an anthology on Althusser published in Argentina) was published in Radical Philosophy 7 (Spring 1974). This translation was based on the French version that first appeared in 1973, and included Rancière’s Afterword and the self-critical footnotes, indicating his reservations about aspects […]

Knowledge as a Social Phenomenon

Knowledge as a Social Phenomenon Sean Sayers The idea that knowledge is a social phenomenon is no longer either novel or unfamiliar. With the growth of the social sciences, we are accustomed to seeing ideas and beliefs in social and historical terms, and trying to understand how they arise and why they take the forms […]

John Rawls and Human Welfare

John Rawls and Human Welfare John Watt INTRODUCTION John Rawls has been a dominant figure over the last generation of Western social philosophy. I know of four book-length studies of his thought – Barry (1973), WoIff (1977), Schaefer (1979) and Martin (1985) – and two volumes of collected essays: Daniels (1975) and Blocker and Smith […]

Dull Compulsion of the Economic

Dull Compulsion of the Economic The Dominant Ideology and Social Reproduction Conrad Lodziak One of the most influential ideas amongst many Marxists, the Left and social theorists is what Abercrombie, Hill and Turner refer to as ‘the dominant ideology thesis’.1 This thesis has it ‘that modem capitalist society … maintains and reproduces itself through the […]

Ideology and the Media: A Response

COMMENT Ideology and the Media: A Response Martin Barker’s examination of problems and evasions discernible in the use made of the concept of ideology by major strands of media research (Radical Philosophy 46) is timely. Media analysis in Britain seems now to be well-launched into a phase in which empirically-based studies, including studies of audience […]

Mass Media Studies and the Question of Ideology

Mass Media Studies and the Question of Ideology Martin Barker On the face of it, radical understanding of the mass media has to count as one of the great success stories of the post-’60s political and academic culture. Without attempting anything like a historical survey, it is unquestionably the case that whole new fields and […]

The Frankfurt School and the Problem of Critique

The Frankfurt School and the Problem of Critique: A Reply to McCarney Peter Dews and Peter Osborne The question of the possibility, form, and validity of a ‘critical’ social science, of its relation to Marxism and to the ideas of dialectic and contradiction, received considerable attention on the pages of Radical Philosophy in the late […]

What Makes Critical Theory Critical?

What Makes Critical Theory IC riticaI’? Joseph McCarney The toplc of this paper is the project of a critlcal theory of society. It considers that project in the form it takes in the work of its best known exponents, the theorists of the socalled ‘Frankfurt School’. The main question to be answered is the question […]

Milton Fisk, Marxism and Ethics

Milton Fisk, Marxism and Ethics Andrew Collier “ I When Marxists have written about ethics – which they have not often done at any length – they have generally approached the topic in one of two ways: either they have sought to explain moral codes as ideologies with definite material foundations and functions in the […]

What is Scientific Ideology?

Introduction to (ieorges Canguilhem Mike Short/and Take away Canguilhem and you will no longer understand much about Althusser, Althusserianism and a whole series of discussions which have taken place among French Marxists; you will no longer grasp what is specific to sociologists such as Bourdieu, Castel, Passerson and what marks them so strongly within sociology; […]

Ideology as Commonsense

The third point is that the ideology of the Right now appears strong not only because the media are adept at disguising the crudity of right-wing ideas. The Right plays also on those issues where the Left has hitherto been weak; and these are issues which we cannot simply ignore. Foremost among them is the […]

The ‘New Philosophers’ and the End of Leftism

THI ‘NIW PHILOSOPHIRS’ AND THI IND or LlrTISM Peter Dews Introduction Fashion moves fast in Parisian salons, and the taste for intellectual scandal demands the constant breaking of fresh taboos. Three years ago, in the spring of 1977, a group of young authors styling themselves the ‘New Philosophers’ moved rapidly to the centre of attention, […]

Towards a Materialist Theory of Ideology

TOWARDS A MATERIALIST THEORY or mEOLOGY: The IQ Debale as a Case Sludy Les Levidow In the Race-IQ debate which has resurfaced in Britain and the USA since 1969, socialist critiques of IQ science have centred upon some notion or other of ‘ideology’. That term has been invoked largely as an insult, intended to mean […]

Utopia or Phantasy?

, UTOPIA OR PHANTASY • . A Reply 10 OlllDan on Man’s David Murray Vision of ConIlDunisID Anyone who has argued for the desirability of socialis m will be familiar with this response: There’s a lot wrong with our society, but it’s better than Russia – if that’s socialism, you can keep it. But anyway, […]

Althusser’s epistemology

ALTHUSSBR’S BPISTBMOLOGY: Ihe limils of Ihe Iheo..y of Iheo..elical p ..aclice PaulPatton concepts and theses which would permit the demarcation of science from other kinds of theoretical discourse. Dialectical materialism, then, was thought to be the philosophical theory Within which the scientific character of historical materialism could be demonstrated. Althusser’s marxist philosophy, however, was no […]

Post-Marxist Modes of Production

POST-MARXIST M I ‘) .. or PRODUCTION According to whoever wrote the editorial ‘notes’ for Radical Philosophy 17, ‘The present upsurge of fundamental Marxist researches may indicate an exit route from the circle of philosophy’s –deaths and re births , via which the problem of the specificity of “the philosophical” might be both subverted and […]

Moral Relations, Political Economy and Class Struggle

Moral Relalions,PoIilical Economy and Class Ilmggle Philip Corrigan & Derek Saver In a critical comment on the Comtists (in a draft for his The Civil War in France) Marx declares: Poor men! They do not know that every social form of property has ‘morals’ of its own~ The strategy of analysis involved in this sharp […]

Winch, Wittgenstein and Marxism

‘ Radical Philosophy :Thl.. leell Wlllch, WIII,gellslelll alld Ma.. xlsm ~. Ted Benton A Introduction This paper suffers from a certain ‘instability’ deriving from its having been written some years ago, and then substantially modified more recently to serve quite different purposes. This modification,has, unfortunately, been insufficiently thorough, although the instability of the paper may […]