Althusser and His Contemporaries alters and expands understanding of Louis Althusser and French philosophy of the 1960s and 1970s. Thousands of pages of previously unpublished work from different periods of Althusser's career have been made available in French since his death in 1990. Based on meticulous study of the philosopher's posthumous publications, as well as his unpublished manuscripts, lecture notes, letters, and marginalia, Warren Montag provides a thoroughgoing reevaluation of Althusser's philosophical project. Montag shows that the theorist was intensely engaged with the work of his contemporaries, particularly Foucault, Derrida, Deleuze, and Lacan. Examining Althusser's philosophy as a series of encounters with his peers' thought, Montag contends that Althusser's major philosophical confrontations revolved around three themes: structure, subject, and beginnings and endings. Reading Althusser reading his contemporaries, Montag sheds new light on structuralism, poststructuralism, and the extraordinary moment of French thought in the 1960s and 1970s.
Warren Montag is the Brown Family Professor in Literature, English and Comparative Literary Studies at Occidental College in Los Angeles. He is the author of Louis Althusser; Bodies, Masses, Power: Spinoza and His Contemporaries; and The Unthinkable Swift. He is editor of Decalages: A Journal of Althusser Studies.
Acknowledgments ix Introduction. Why Read Althusser Today? 1 Part I. Structure 1. The Theoretical Conjuncture: Structure, Structurality, Structuralism 15 2. Toward a Prehistory of Structuralism: From Montesquieu to Dilthey 23 3. Settling Accounts with Phenomenology: Husserl and His Critics 36 4. Levi-Strauss: Ancestors and Descendants, Causes and Effects 53 5. Between Spinozists: The Function of Structure in Althusser, Macherey, and Deleuze 73 Part II. Subject 6. Marxism and Humanism 103 7. Althusser and Lacan: Toward of Genealogy of the Concept of Interpellation 118 8. Althusser and Foucault: Apparatuses of Subjection 141 Part III. Origin/End 9. The Late Althusser: Materialism of the Encounter or Philosophy of Nothingness? 173 10. The End of Destiny: Althusser before Althusser 190 Afterword 209 Notes 213 Bibliography 231 Index 243