The necessity of contingency

Among the concepts proposed by Althusser in the course of his famous symptomatic reading of Marx’s Capital, structural causality plays a central role. Extrapolated from Marx’s writings via a detour through the philosophy of Spinoza, it came to represent the concept in which Althusser summed up ‘Marx’s immense theoretical revolution’. [1] As is well known, […]

Noam Chomsky

Interview noam chomsky Freedom and power Peter hallward I’d like to start by asking you about some of your basic philosophical principles, starting with your understanding of human freedom and creativity. In the modern European tradition I’m most familiar with, freedom is a dominant philosophical theme from Descartes through Rousseau to Kant. With Kant we […]

Noam Chomsky

Noam Chomsky An Interview RP: In the 19S0s and ’60s, the bridge between your theoretical work and your political work seems to have been the attack on behaviourism, which then dominated not only psychology but the various social sciences as well, which were often used to justify capitalism and imperialism. But now, partly because of […]

Towards a Theory of Videotics

Towards a Theory of Videotics Richard Osborne In the post-structuralist diaspora the search for a nontaxonomic ‘truth’, an understanding of the political history of the presentation of signs, demands that we interrogate our relationship to the notion of the materiality of the sign. From Copernicus to Warhol we have witnessed the destabiliza tion of the […]

Fragments of an Analysis: Lacan in Context

Fragments of an Analysis: Lacan in Context David Macey At risk of caricature, the received Anglo-Saxon image of Lacan might be formalized as Freud + Saussure = Lacan (2). The received formula owes much to one of the first texts to introduce Lacan’s work to an English-speaking audience, namely the translation of Althusser’s ‘Freud and […]

Marxist Modes

MARXIST MODIS lonathan Rea 1 Here is a tempting book* – a kind of teach-yourself the new semiotics, a simple primer about Barthes, Lacan and post-Althusserian Marxis m. I came across it by accident, when I saw it peeping out of a friend’s luggage. ‘It’s very good, ‘ I was told: ‘inspiring and clear ‘. […]

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 […]

On Materialisms

expected is an analysis of our present situation with s’ome general guidelines for the transition to socialism. Dialectical change provides us with ever new situations which for an understanding demand that a wide range of experience .be drawn upon from within and without the revolutionary core. This in turn requires a respect for the opinions […]

5 Reviews

REVIEWS The new journal Economy and Society declared its stand under the banner of serious scholarship. Its editorial statement noted that ‘The search for new orientations (in social science) has led to a revived interest in ~Iarxism, Structural i sm, and Phenomenology in its various forms, to attempts to create a ‘critical’ theory. Thesd’new interests, […]

Critical reproblemization

It was a matter of analyzing … the problemizations through which being offers itself to be, necessarily thought – and the practices on the basis of which these problemizations are formed. Michel Foucault, The Use of Pleasure1Michel Foucault is well known for having periodically redescribed his previous studies in light of his current project. [2] […]

Neo-Kantianism in cultural theory

Nous sommes tous néokantiens.Michel Foucault1In the 1980s and early 1990s, when poststructuralism set the agenda in cultural theory and shaped the way in which theorists from other traditions were received, the work of the Bakhtin Circle was often seen as anticipating contemporary concerns to a quite uncanny extent. While some adopted Bakhtin as a poststructuralist […]

Subject (Re-/decentred)

Dossier From structure to rhizome: transdisciplinarity in French thought (2) Subject (Re-/decentred) alain de libera1 Modern French thought, ‘structuralism’, ‘poststructuralism’, ‘postmodernism’, Marxism as well, are currently associated with the so-called ‘death of the subject’. Foucault’s ‘anti-humanism’, the celebrated ‘death of Man’, the declining popularity of the rational, Kantian, transcendantal subject, reigning over what Lyotard called […]

History (Problem with)

History (Problem with) michèle Riot-Sarcey apprehended in their relation to everyday life, to social structures and to the depths of the civilizations whose existence had, until that point, appeared only in the form of a barely conflictual backdrop to history. In Braudel’s lecture, the becoming of historical research was questioned and problematized to the point […]

Rhizome (With no return)

Rhizome (With no return) Éric alliez In the invitation to speakers for the conference From Structure to Rhizome, we suggested that talks might set out by re-examining (and hence ‘re-founding’) texts that we qualified – in far too rapid and expeditious a fashion – as ‘founding’. But we did not make this suggestion without being […]

Structure: method or subversion of the social sciences?

Dossier From structure to rhizome: transdisciplinarity in French thought (1)The concept of transdisciplinarity is not part of the explicit discourse or self-consciousness of ‘French thought’. Rather, it is used here, imported from the outside as a kind of operator or problematizing device, to begin a process of rethinking one of that body of thought’s most […]