Inicio > Filosofía marxista, Psicología marxista, Teoría crítica acumulada > «Split or whole? The Status of Subject and Society in Voloshinov’s Work»: Patrick Seriot

«Split or whole? The Status of Subject and Society in Voloshinov’s Work»: Patrick Seriot

I would to highlight some key features in the history of a great misunderstanding: the reception of V. Voloshinov texts by left-wing Western European intellectuals in the 1970s, mainly in France. By doing so, I think it will be posible to show, by contrast, the specifity of Voloshinov’s work. Indeed, for French readers, familiar with M. Foucault’s idea of «the death of the subject», reading Voloshinov meant at the same time recognizing well-known topics (e.g. a theory of «ideology») and discovering a totally unknown universe. This discrepancy was enhanced by problems of translation, with different translator offering their readers a terminology which could make sense for them at this very period of intellectual discussions in Western Europe. The most striking example is probably the notion of «social psychology», which was immediately interpreted through the filter of L. Althusser’s notion of ideology as false consciousness, ehere the main stress was on the unconscious aspect of everything ideological, therefore uncontrollable.

The core of the matter is the status of the subject and the very definition of society: in both cases, the question is whether those objects are homogeneus or heterogeneous, harmonious or chaotic, if they are subjected to laws and regularity (zakonomernost) or if they develop at random; in other words: what is society made of? what is a subject? (or is the same as the individual?). And finally, are they compact wholes or divided entities, full or split.

By opening this discussion, I do not mean to say that Marxism and the Philosophy of Language (from now on MPL) has no connection with Marxism at all, but that it has very little to do with Marxism in the sense it had in Western Europe in the 1970s and 1980s.

Artículo Completo

In M. Lähteenmäki, H. Dufva, S. Leppänen, P. Varis (eds): Proceedings of the XII International Bakhtin Conference, Jyväskylä, Finland, 18-22 July 2005, Department of Languages, University of Jyväskylä

Ver también “Volver a la historia”: César de Vicente Hernando sobre el libro de Jean-Paul Bronckart y Christian Bota, “Bajtín desenmascarado”


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