Althusser’s Epistemology: The Limits of the Theory of Theoretical Practice

Paul Patton

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Concepts and theses which would permit the demarcation of science from other kinds of theoretical discourse. Dialectical materialism, then, was thought to be the philosophical theory within which the scientific character of historical materialism could be demonstrated.

Althusser’s marxist philosophy, however, was no ordinary epistemology, but an ‘historical epistemology’ or ‘theory of science and of the history of science’ (RC, p145). The settling of accounts with ‘Althusserianism’ has been on the order of the day for some time now.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-18
Number of pages11
JournalRadical Philosophy
Publication statusPublished - 1978


  • Althusser, Louis, 1918-1990
  • Marxism
  • Epistemology
  • Historical materialism
  • Philosophy


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