decentred structure

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Louis Althusser (1918—1990) French philosopher

G. W. F. Hegel (1770—1831) German philosopher


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French MarxistLouis Althusser's term for Marx's conception of the social totality as opposed to Hegel's. In Althusser's view, Hegel's structure of the whole is expressive, meaning that each part of the whole is capable of expressing or representing the whole—so, for example, the economy can be used to describe the state of society as a whole. Althusser rejected the idea that one part can stand for the whole and instead argued that every part is mutually dependent on every other part (a relationship he described as semi-autonomous).

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies.

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