Eric's Reviews > Reading Capital

Reading Capital by Louis Althusser
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May 16, 11

Read from May 13 to 16, 2011

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 MArx's thought fundamentally restructures the field through two recognitions: the rejection of the separation between subject and object in empiricist thought, and his understanding of knowledge as production, as that which both adheres to the essence of its object (always-already-there) and which itself produces that object.
"Reading Capital" is not only a wonderful reading of "Capital" itself, attending to its nuances with admirable rigor and sustantial pay-off, but the symptomatic method of reading that Althusser identifies in Marxist praxis is an essential articulation of duty and complicity for any student of inquiry, Marxist or otherwise.
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