Materialism, Matter and Materiality in the Work of Althusser

Warren Montag


DOI: https://doi.org/10.15691/0718-5448Vol4Iss2a357
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Resumen

Over a decade ago, a number of philosophers declared that the time of what they called “the linguistic turn,” that is, a philosophical orientation to language as the sole medium through which reality could be apprehended, had come to an end, having foundered on its own contradictions. In its place, they proposed a turn to objects or things, that is, that to which we were previously told we could gain access only through language or consciousness, insofar as they reflected or represented reality from a position outside of it. Thus, they established the materiality of objects, but at the expense of a dematerialization of language. One of the principal targets of the new materialism was the concept of ideology, to them a realm of ideas, not things. In his famous essay, “Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses,” published in 1970, Althusser preempted the arguments of the new materialism by asserting that ideology does not consist of ideas but exists in the materiality of apparatuses, practices and rituals. Just as importantly, discourse too possessed a materiality and a reality which was the necessary condition of its functions, including the production of meaning.


Montag W. Materialism, Matter and Materiality in the Work of Althusser. Síntesis, Rev filos.. 2021;4(2): 19-33. Disponible en: doi:10.15691/0718-5448Vol4Iss2a357 [Accessed 25 May. 2022].
Montag, W. (2021). Materialism, Matter and Materiality in the Work of Althusser. Síntesis. Revista de Filosofía, 4(2), 19-33. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.15691/0718-5448Vol4Iss2a357

Referencias


Althusser, Louis. 1969. For Marx. Translated by Ben Brewster. London: Verso.

Althusser, Louis. 1971. “Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses (Notes towards an Investigation).” In Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays, 127–186. Translated by Ben Brewster. New York: Monthly Review Press.

Althusser, Louis. 1995. “Idéologie et appareils idéologique d’état (Notes pour une recherche).” In Sur la reproduction, 269-314. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.

Althusser, Louis. 2003. “Three Notes on the Theory of the Discourses.” In The Humanist Controversy and Other Writings, 33–84. Translated by G. M. Goshgarian. London: Verso.

Althusser, Louis. 2006. “Philosophy and Marxism.” In Philosophy of the Encounter: Later Writings, 1978–87, 251-291. Translated by G. M. Goshgarian. London: Verso.

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