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Reading Capital

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  422 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Together with Louis Althusser’s book For Marx, Reading Capital represents one of the foundational texts of the school of “structuralist Marxism” which transformed the face of modern philosophy and social theory. Presided over by the magnetic and intellectually coruscating figure of Althusser, the structuralist Marxists attempted no less than an intellectual revolution agai ...more
Paperback, 340 pages
Published February 17th 1998 by Verso (first published January 1st 1971)
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Only read the first section, but that was enough for me. I enjoy any French philosopher who mentions "poached baby elephant."
Althusser is an absolute nut. Sound and fury signifying nothing.
William West
This extremely influential text has aged poorly exactly because of how influential its been in Marxist discourse. Many of its key claims, which were eye-brow raising in 1965, are generally accepted by interpreters of Marx today. What makes this book a somewhat frustrating read is that Althusser's writing style is far denser here even than in his other key works, and yet there seems to be less ideas to sink one's teeth into than in, say, the author's “For Marx.”

First off its most influential, and
Honestly, after reading Capital volume one I thought this text would be a breeze, or at the very least, illuminate some of the darker, more opaque passages in Marx's Magnum Opus. Boy, was I wrong. In fact, this text is so much harder I had to put it down after only about 20-25 pages in. Will probably pick it up again (I own it after all), but sheesh - those Frenchies sure love to prognosticate in the realm of abstractions. Would take a lifetime to truly understand this text, and other scholars s ...more
In this tremendous work, Althusser (and Etienne Balibar) argues that Marx's "Capital" marks the emergence of a new "science of history," a new mode of knowledge that sprang out of the author's encounters with his philosophical predecessors but which couldn't be recognized as such precisely because the answer that it provides is directed towards a question not available in his empiricist philosophical antecedents. Key to Althusser's recuperation of this new science in Marx is the manner in which ...more
Althusser and student Balibar offer a symptomatic reading of Marx's Capital and read him as definitively anti-humanist and anti-historian. It is not humans who are the engine of history, but the various "levels" of society (political, theological, and-in the last order-economic) that create social conditions. Each of these levels also shifts along its own temporal frame, and wile the levels are articulated, this relationship prohibits a description of history as a single teleological line.
Science wins! (Sorry ideology).

Materialism wins! (Sorry idealism).

"Well grubbed, old mole." KM is the mole. Capitalism is the mud. Once you grab that grub, don't let it go!
بهمن بهمن
are dadsh!ine!khastam bedooni maam ye vaghti si khodemoo ademi boodim,azi ketaba mikhoondim.haaa!louis althosser:)
Benjamin Britton
"But the protocols for a reading of Capital which we have inherited from the history of the interpretation of Marxism, as well as the experiments in reading Capital we can make ourselves, confront us with real difficulties inherent in Marx’s text itself. I shall assemble them under two headings, and these two headings will constitute the object of my study.

(1) Contrary to certain appearances, or at any rate, to my expectations, Marx’s methodological reflections in Capital do not give us a develo
Obviously essential reading for marxists. That said, I have a lot of problems with the basic principles of Althusser's approach. Rather than attempting to approach marx as a philosopher - to find the implicit philosophy of marxism - I find it more compelling to approach philosophy as a marxist - to seek the historical and political economic determinations of both philosophy and science. Lots of keen ideas, however; and it is a marvelous example of constructing complex and persuasive arguments. I ...more
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Louis Pierre Althusser (1918–1990) was one of the most influential Marxist philosophers of the 20th Century. As they seemed to offer a renewal of Marxist thought as well as to render Marxism philosophically respectable, the claims he advanced in the 1960s about Marxist philosophy were discussed and debated worldwide. Due to apparent reversals in his theoretical positions, to the ill-fated facts of ...more
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