<epistemology, structuralism, marxism, dialectics>, <political thought> Algerian-French social philosopher (1918-1990). In Pour Marx (For Marx) (1965), LÚnin et la philosophie (Lenin and Philosophy) (1969), and Lire le Capital (Reading Capital) (1970), Althusser offered a structuralist re-interpretation of the later work of Marx. According to Althusser, social organization is determined wholly by ideological consequences expressed in economic and political power, enforced in home and family as well as in the workplace. The differential roles to which individuals are assigned in a society, he argued, are clearly signified not only by the presence of particular notions in its cultural paradigms, but even more dramatically by the absence of others. Elements d'autocritique (Essays in Self-Criticism) (1974) includes retractions from many of these central themes. Recommended Reading: Althusser: A Critical Reader, ed. by Gregory Elliott (Blackwell, 1994).
[A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names]
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