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Quotes by Louis Althusser

Louis Althusser

Louis Althusser is a famous French communist philsopher. He is most well known for having reinterpreted Karl Marx's theories. However, he is also known for developing the idea of ideology. His great mind, however, did not last forever. His end came in a mental institution, because years before he had strangled his wife. Read some of Louis Althusser's famous quotes below.


Ideology...is indispensable in any society if men are to be formed, transformed and equipped to respond to the demands of their conditions of existence.
In the battle that is philosophy all the techniques of war, including looting and camouflage, are permissible.
Philosophy and the Spontaneous Philosophy of the Scientists: And Other Essays
Philosophy is, in the last instance, class struggle in the field of theory.
Essays in Self-Criticism
Everything that happens in philosophy has, in the last instance, not only political consequences in theory, but also political consequences in politics: in the political class struggle.
Essays in Self-Criticism
Without claiming to be exhaustive, I maintain that every philosophy reproduces within itself, in one way or another, the conflict in which it finds itself compromised and caught up in the outside world.
Philosophy of the Encounter: Later Writings, 1978-1987
A man of nothing who has started out from nothing starting out from an unassignable place: these are, for Machiavelli, the conditions for regeneration.
Philosophy of the Encounter: Later Writings, 1978-1987
There exists [a] word in German, Geschichte, which designates not accomplished history, but history in the present, doubtless determined in large part, yet only in part, by the already accomplished past; for a history which is present, which is living, is also open to a future that is uncertain, unforeseeable, not yet accomplished, and therefore aleatory. Living history obeys only a constant (not a law): the constant of class struggle. Marx did not use the term 'constant', which I have taken from Levi-Strauss, but an expression of genius: 'tendential law', capable of inflecting (but not contradicting) the primary tendential law, which means that a tendency does not possess the form or figure of linear law, but that it can bifurcate under the impact of an encounter with another tendency, and so on ad infinitum. At each intersection the tendency can take a path that is unforeseeable because it is aleatory.
Philosophy of the Encounter: Later Writings, 1978-1987
One phantom is more especially crucial than any other today: the shade of Hegel. To drive this phantom back into the night we need a little more light on Marx, or what is the same thing, a little more Marxist light on Hegel himself. We can then escape from the ambiguities and confusions of the 'inversion'.