The journal Cahiers pour l’Analyse was founded in 1966 and disappeared in the aftermath of May 1968. At the time the intellectual and publishing world was dominated by texts that were broadly characterized as “structuralist.” Edited by a board of students at the prestigious École normale supérieure (Jacques-Alain Miller, François Régnault, Alain Grosrichard and Jean-Claude Milner), with the participation of Alain Badiou in its later stages, the journal accorded great importance to Jacques Lacan and to psychoanalysis in general. But it also played a role in Althusser’s political and intellectual strategy a year after the publication of For Marx and Reading Capital. Cahiers pour l’Analyse represents, then, the most complete example of the politicization of structuralism on the eve of May 1968. Yet it also had a focus on political philosophers, such as Machiavelli and Rousseau, and the political writings of classical philosophers such as Hume and Descartes. The editors also favoured the philosophy of the concept (Canguilhem) over phenomenology (particularly in its Sartrean interpretation). Analyzing the content of the journal and published interviews with its authors, this article indicates how the broad aim was to restore primacy of place to philosophy at a point when it was under challenge from the social sciences.
A Return to the Concept: The Structuralism of the Cahiers pour l’Analyse
Frédérique Matonti is professor of political science at the University Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne. She is the author of Intellectuels communistes, une sociologie de l’obéissance politique: La Nouvelle Critique (1967–1980) (2005) and Le Comportement politique des Français (1998).
Frédérique Matonti, Chris Turner; A Return to the Concept: The Structuralism of the Cahiers pour l’Analyse. Cultural Politics 1 July 2018; 14 (2): 244–262. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/17432197-6609116
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