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By Jean-Michel Rabate

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After a few false starts (passing through radical Catholicism and Hegelianism) Althusser came into his own as a philosopher by showing how Marx had been able to come into his own as a philosopher. His deduction is almost syllogistic: we know that Marx derives his dialectical method from Hegel and the left Hegelians, 35 Genealogy One: Hegel’s Plague that he overturns an idealist way of thinking by putting material determinations first and inverting the inversion. If there is a continuity between the “young Marx” and the mature Marx, Marx himself wants to disentangle scientific theory from ideology.

46 Barthes is forced to a lame retreat, and he admits that for him literary history is another kind of myth. De Man has no difficulty in pointing out that the Romantics and even some classics had already expressed what Barthes identifies with a “modern” sensibility limited to an axis of Mallarmé–Sollers. ”47 In a wonderful extemporized disquisition on death and radical finitude, Hyppolite answers by stating his fundamental disagreement with Hegel on the central issue of the equivalence between death and negativity.

We notice that Blanchot was quoted by Derrida in the same passage of his Introduction to Husserl’s essay on Geometry, although Blanchot seems to belong to a different world, closer to Bataille’s or Kojève’s readings of Hegel. In his commentary on Husserl’s The Origin of Geometry Derrida refers decisively to Blanchot’s famous essay on “Literature and the Right to Death” which closes La Part du feu (1949), a piece providing a theoretical core and largely based upon a reading of Hegel. If Kojève is still felt to be an authority on Hegel (he is quoted as having shown how Marx and Hegel agree fundamentally, and he has demonstrated that “understanding is the equivalent of a murder”),24 Blanchot also relies heavily on Hyppolite’s Genesis and Structure of the Phenomenology of Spirit to point out that the main political discovery in Hegel is not the issue of slavery but that of the Terror during the French Revolution: the Marquis de Sade becomes a paradoxical hero who had confronted death and Terror directly.

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