Althusser And Critique Of Marxism

1414 Words Oct 12th, 2016 6 Pages
Althusser and Critique Paper

Marxist philosopher Louis Althusser reoriented the study of Marxism in the 1960s and 1970s, shifting it from a humanist interpretation to one structured around the philosophy of ideology and the philosophy of science. The purpose of this reorientation revolved around the necessity to ground an understanding of critique. By focusing on the notions of ideology and science, Althusser can provide an accurate explanation for the revolutionary nature of Marx’s thought, specifically the creation of the science, dialectical materialism. This science, according to Althusser, shows that the production of thought is historically determined and provides the basis for all critique: as being able to discern mere ideas and historically determined ideologies from true scientific knowledge. By understanding what is truly science and ideology, the proletariat can correctly work to rectify the practices that impose a false ideology and work for a politics that is not based on exploitation.
To understand Althusser’s elucidation of Marx’s Philosophy, and by extension his work on critique, one has to specifically focus on the theory of Marxism as a science, or the unification of two sciences, historical materialism and dialectic materialism. It is within the science of historical materialism, or the science of history determined by modes of production, that one could understand how ideologies are introduced and constantly reinforced. Modes of production, or the…

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