Aleatory Materialism

Short Summary

Posthumously, a series of essays written by Louis Althusser was published titled The Philosophy of the Encounter.These essays were written between 1982 and 1986. His essay, "The Underground Current of the Materialism of the Encounter," focuses on five concepts: the void, the encounter, the fact, the conjuncture, and necessity/contingency. Vittorio Morfino describes five themes that are focused on in Althusser's writing: "the concept of a process without a subject and therefore the negation of every form of teleology, be it internal or external; the primacy of relations over the related elements; theoretical anti-humanism; the assertion that philosophy has no object; and the definition of the structure of metaphysics according to the schema Origin-Subject-Object-Truth-End-Foundation."


Key Ideas, Concepts, Terms

the void
the encounter
the fact
the conjuncture


Louis Althusser

Authors Drawn on

Epicurus, Baruch Spinoza, Niccolo Machiavelli, Karl Marx,


Althusser, Louis, François Matheron, and Olivier Corpet. Philosophy of the Encounter: Later Writings, 1978-87. London: Verso, 2006.
Morfino, Vittorio. "An Althusserian Lexicon." //Borderlands E-journal// 4.2 (2005).//Borderlands E-journal//. Web. 7 Nov. 2011.
Suchting, Wal. "Althusser’s Late Thinking About Materialis." //Historical Materialism// 12.1 (2004): 3-70. //Roundtable//. Web. 6 Nov. 2011.

External Links