Theaterwerke (German Edition)

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Machiavelli in the Florentine context. Class position and ambitions. Epilogue: Machiavelli and the taming of chance. This situation also created a less favourable academic-intellectual atmosphere for writing a book on a communist philosopher such as Louis Althusser. It was illuminating to delve into his later views — views that can be traced to his earlier writings — on the theoretical problematics of the political intervention reflected in his analyses.

GOTTSEIBEIUNS - Definition and synonyms of Gottseibeiuns in the German dictionary

In the present book, it is indeed essential to read Althusser above all as someone who advanced a theory of materialist politics, and whose later writings open up potential — albeit incomplete — views for the advancement of Marxist political theory. The present English edition of my book does not significantly differ from the original Finnish edition, although here the footnotes and quotes refer when available to English editions of texts.

Mikko Lahtinen, December Goshgarian for help on translating the citations.

Matheron , p. In the —3 academic year Althusser gave for the first time his lectures on Machiavelli based on the Machiavelli and Us manuscript. Of the life too often masked by the very same discoveries that we owe to him. Althusser b, pp.

Translation of «Erbtum» into 25 languages

Althusser b, p. Even in its most abstract form, that of the works of the great philosophers, philosophy is situated somewhere in the vicinity of the ideologies, as a kind of theoretical laboratory in which the fundamentally political problem of ideological hegemony — that is, of the constitution of the dominant ideology — is experimentally put to the test, in abstract.

Goshgarian has shown in his significant prefaces to English translations of the posthumously published texts, the self-criticism did not mean that Althusser would have denounced the central theoretical views that he had developed in the beginning and middle of the s, encapsulated in his anti-theological critique of the Leibnizian and Hegelian expressive totalities or emphasis on materialism. The changes above all concerned how Althusser perceived the relationship between Marxist philosophy and the economicpolitical class struggle of the masses, which interested him throughout his.

Althusser a, p. Althusser b. The latter part, which focuses on Machiavelli, is presently only available in French Althusser a, pp. Louis Aragon and Roger Garaudy, intellectuals on the Central Committee, had central roles when the resolution was being debated in the winter of Althusser wrote a long letter to the Central Committee in which he aimed to show the theoretical problems contained in the resolution.

The letter, however, was never sent. Goshgarian , p. Althusser emphasised the importance of Lenin, who had been rejected by philosophers, for the critique of French academic philosophy. On the one hand, it cannot bear the idea that it might have something to learn from politics and from a politician.

Translation of «Erbtum» into 25 languages

And on the other hand, it cannot bear the idea that philosophy might be the object of a theory, i. Althusser , p. Althusser , pp.

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Meaning of "Erbtum" in the German dictionary

Machiavelli , Chapter As is well known, Althusser withdrew from public life after his critique of the Party, until the tragic events of November brutally dragged. However, he did not leave Marx behind. Also, for this. Morfino , pp. Apart from Goshgarian, of the above-mentioned interpreters, Morfino and Negri are perhaps the ones who have most highlighted continuity between the philosophical-theoretical views that Althusser presented at different times.

The basis for such argumentation is the unconditional rejection of the Hegelian idea of the expressive totality. Only a little attention is needed to grasp the decisive import of this new theoretical concept. Sotiris When we come to the role of the masses — who are, after all, the Reply to John Lewis reminds us, the ones who make history, a far from Machiavellian formula — then rejecting this graft becomes inescapable.

What struck me again was the radical manner in which he took account of the chance nature of every conjuncture. I hope that the present book convinces the reader that Machiavelli should not be 40 41 42 Althusser c, p. Althusser a; Althusser Even though, in those of his writings published during his lifetime, Althusser does not specifically analyse Machiavelli, I aim to demonstrate in Chapter 2 that many of them are nevertheless concerned with Machiavellian themes, the central issue of which is the identification of the theoretical conditions for political practice.

Even though Epicurus and Machiavelli are perhaps more central.


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However, he left it out of the last known version of the manuscript. It was only published after his death, together with the incomplete autobiographical text Les Faits, written in see Corpet , pp. For example, the idea in his self-criticism about the revolutionary nature of theory refers to his thesis — also put forward earlier by Antonio Gramsci — — regarding the revolutionary nature of The Prince.

ENS , as part of his classics lectures, and again in As Matheron states, it is impossible to determine the exact dates of the corrections, additions and cuts to the manuscript. Epicurus, clinamen, Cournot chance, etc. Matheron , pp. Antoine Augustin Cournot —77 was a French philosopher, mathematician and economist who developed probability theory and mathematical economics. Assessed in this light, his writings from the s provide no evidence of any abrupt change in his thinking.

Instead, his later writings can be seen as attempts to identify and resolve the questions that had arisen already in his earlier writings.

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He also states that he never really abandoned the project Althusser a, p. Furthermore, Althusser says that, already at that time, he was a communist and believed that studying eighteenth-century. What struck me again was the radical manner in which he took into account the aleatory nature of every conjuncture. In addition, he revealed that what was needed, if Italian national unity was to be achieved, was for a nobody starting with nothing and from nowhere in particular, but outside the framework of an established State, to bring together the fragmented elements of a divided country, without any preconceived notion of unity which might have been formulated in terms of existing political concepts all of which were bad.

We have not yet, I believe, explored all the implications of this piece of political thinking, the first of its kind and sadly without sequel. For Althusser, Machiavelli is indeed the analyst and theoretician par excellence of the conditions and forms of political action. He is a writer who, according to Althusser, reopens the Epicurean tradition in philosophy. The world is not the result of the creation of the gods, who are at any rate not interested in what happens in the world.

The world has no deeper purpose or telos that philosophers could discover and define. An emphasis on the primary nature of the aleatory is a factor shared — albeit in very different ways — by philosophers of the Epicurean tradition, from Epicurus to Machiavelli and Rousseau through to Marx, Heidegger and Derrida.

While Sophism had to give way to Platonism, Epicureanism had to. Thomas or moral as in Saint Thomas when he discusses politics. It is, above all, this total break with all the moral principles of politics that is blinding in Machiavelli; but the transition from moral causes or principles to the ontological causes and principles that presuppose them is an easy one, because one and the same mode of thought is involved. For the very reason that the question is only about the empirical-factual definition of a single conjuncture, Machiavelli is able to detach himself from the terrain of philosophy and move towards the terrain of political practice.

Instead, he focused and posited his writings within the political conjuncture of his own time and place, of sixteenth-century [cinquecento] Italy. That is, Althusser saw traditional idealist philosophy as a system inventing stories about the original causes, the laws of history, goals, essences, etc. This does not mean, however, that Machiavelli did not present generalisations about political practice. As I will show later in Chapter 4. The constants can also be a drawback when one blindly trusts that the present or the future is like the past, thus bringing disaster to the political actor.

The only book on Machiavelli I have come across which refers to Althusser is a French translation of The Prince published in The political situation is indeed characterised by uncertainty. Althusser indeed compares the man of action to an adventurer, for instance the typical hero of the American Western film, who arrives in town from nowhere, puts things to right and then exits the stage see Chapter 4. One must remember that, in the so-called Wild West, there were also female adventurers, such as Calamity Jane.

The political praxis of a prince Althusser shows that The Prince is not only a text about the political practices of princes but also a political act in itself. This is a question of an alliance. Machiavelli , p. Althusser a, Chapter 10 and Althusser b.


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In the present study, I will show how Machiavelli carries out this subversive political act and what its consequences are. Skinner and Skinner Skinner , especially p. His central argument is that the erosion of classical Laplacian determinism in the nineteenth century did not lead to an emphasis on freedom, but rather to the taming of chance, which was evident in both theory and social practice.