Naturalism and Ideology: Towards a Phenomenology of Political Discourse

Thesis Eleven 87 (1):7-18 (2006)
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Abstract

Lefort's ‘Outline of the Genesis of Ideology in Modern Societies’ constitutes an important attempt to reinvigorate the notion of ideology through a critique of the Marxist use of the term while retaining the basic features of Marx's own understanding. In particular, Lefort attempts to understand the transformations through which ideology goes in non-bourgeois social forms. He achieves this primarily through a critique of the naturalism inherent in Marx's understanding of society and ideology. In this article, I argue that Lefort's understanding of ideology and his critique of Marx belong squarely within the phenomenological tradition, despite the fact that Lefort does not make this explicit. More importantly, I argue that there is a strong continuity between Lefort's understanding of ideology and Husserl of the ‘Vienna Lecture’. The article ends with a short application of these thoughts to ideology in the age of globalization

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