Journal of Speculative Philosophy 20 (4):328-330 (2006)

Hasana Sharp
McGill University
Lewis's history of the party produces a conceptual thread that helps one to understand Althusser's philosophy as an intervention into long-standing debates about the nature of knowledge with respect to social relations. His presentation of this history comprises a highly readable and lucid account that aptly summarizes and condenses an intellectual tradition, especially with respect to what might broadly be called its politico-epistemological inquiries. Most generally, he identifies a thread of intellectual contest, from the birth of French communism until the 1960s, between Hegelianism and what ultimately became vulgar Stalinist theories of economic determinism. Althusser appears as someone who endeavors to find a third way and to articulate a far more complex, or "overdetermined," account of the relationship between subjectivity and its historical circumstances.
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