Concept and Form is a two-volume monument to the work of the philosophy journal the Cahiers pour l’Analyse (1966–69), the most ambitious and radical collective project to emerge from French structuralism. Inspired by their teachers Louis Althusser and Jacques Lacan, the editors of the Cahiers sought to sever philosophy from the interpretation of given meanings or experiences, focusing instead on the mechanisms that structure specific configurations of discourse, from the psychological and ideological to the literary, scientific, and political. Adequate analysis of the operations at work in these configurations, they argue, helps prepare the way for their revolutionary transformation.
Volume One of Concept and Form translates some of the most important theoretical texts from the Cahiers pour l’Analyse; this second volume collects newly commissioned essays on the journal, together with recent interviews with people who were either members of its editorial board or associated with its broader theoretical project. It aims to help reconstruct the intellectual context of the Cahiers, and to assess its contemporary theoretical legacy. Prefaced by an overview of the project’s rigorous investment in science and conceptual analysis, the volume considers in particular the Cahiers’ distinctive effort to link the apparently incommensurable categories of ‘structure’ and ‘subject’, so as to prepare for a new synthesis of Marxism and psychoanalysis.Contributors include Alain Badiou, Étienne Balibar, Edward Baring, Jacques Bouveresse, Yves Duroux, Alain Grosrichard, Peter Hallward, Adrian Johnston, Patrice Maniglier, Tracy McNulty, Jean-Claude Milner, Knox Peden, Jacques Rancière, François Regnault, and Slavoj Žižek.
Brexit campaigners won by dividing, not uniting, the British working class. Peter Hallward teaches philosophy at Kingston University, and is the author of a forthcoming book entitled The Will of the People and the Struggle for Popular Sovereignty.This essay first appeared in Jacobin.
There’s been a lot of talk, the last few days, about the need to respect “the sovereign will of the British people.” A simple question was asked, a simple answer was recorded.
Like the main party leaders on both sides of the referendum, most commentators on the Left seem to agree with Owen Jones, that whatever happens there can be no argument for “reversing the expressed democratic will of the British people — what is done is done.”
The people have spoken. Don’t the basic principles of democracy require that our government now simply do what we’ve told it to do?