By Louis Althusser
From Althusser's so much prolific interval, this e-book is destined to develop into a classic.In the overdue Nineteen Seventies and Eighties, Louis Althusser persevered a interval of severe psychological instability in which he murdered his spouse and used to be dedicated to a psychiatric clinic. Spanning this deeply troubling interval, this fourth and ultimate quantity of political and philosophical writings finds Althusser wrestling in an inventive and unorthodox type with an entire sequence of theoretical difficulties to provide a few of his very best paintings. In his profound exploration of questions of determinism and contingency, Althusser built a "philosophy of the encounter," which he hyperlinks to a hidden and subterranean culture within the background of Western concept which stretches from Epicurus via Spinoza and Machiavelli to Marx, Derrida and Heidegger.
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Additional resources for Philosophy of the encounter: later writings, 1978-87
Moreover, he concluded, almost as soon as he had introduced his conception of the materialist dialectic in the 1962 'Contradiction and Overdetermination', that the theory of the encounter implied by the topography lent itself to explaining the emergence of things other than social formations, beginning with the theory of the encounter itsel£ In a 1963 letter, Althusser wryly makes his addressee declare 'Contingency, chance, or what Machiavelli calls fortuna', is 'the pre-Marxian concept that comes closest to what Lenin calls the encounter of the objective and subjective conditions of any practice whatsoever.
See Althusser, [Etienne Balibar and Jean-Pierre Lefebvre], 'What Must Change in the Party', trans. Patrick Camiller, New Left Review, no. 109, 20 September 1 976 to Althusser. 26 Nicos Poulantzas, State, Power, Socialism, London, 1 978; Etienne Balibar, 'The Infmite Contradiction', Yale French Studies, no. 88, 1 995, p. 1 57; Christine Buci-Glucksmann, Gramsci and the State (1975), trans. David Fernbach, London, 1 980, ch. , Egemonia, Stato, Partito in Gramsci, Rome, 1 977; POE 1 44. 27 For example, Rochet, Le marxisme et les chemins de l'avenir, pp.
They are the still existing elements of the capitalist mode of production . ' Althusser's conclusion, formulated, as it happens, on 26 August 1973, might be taken to mark the moment of his turn to aleatory materialism proper: 'The secret of the historical Introduction xlvii existence of existent modes of production . . is to be sought less in the accomplished fact of the conditions of their existence than in the annulled, because non-accomplished fact of the conditions of non existence of the same modes of production (for these conditions have sometimes been the death of them).
Philosophy of the encounter: later writings, 1978-87 by Louis Althusser