Louis Althusser

French Marxist philosopher (1918–1990)

Louis Pierre Althusser (Pronunciation: altuˡseʁ) (October 16, 1918 – October 22, 1990) was a Marxist philosopher. He was born in Algeria. He studied at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris. He became Professor of Philosophy there. He taught Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida.[1]

Althusser was a member of the French Communist Party. Sometimes he had bad opinions about the party. He argued against things he thought attacked the basic ideas of Marxism. Some examples are the influence of empiricism on Marxist theory, humanist and reformist socialist orientations in European communist parties, the problem of the 'cult of personality' and ideology.

Many people say that Althusser is a Structural Marxist. This is a type of Marxism based on structuralism. However, he had many different opinions about structuralism. In 1980, Althusser killed his wife.[2] He went to a psychiatric hospital for three years. He died in 1990.


  1. Schrift, Alan D. (2005-11-04). Twentieth-Century French Philosophy: Key Themes and Thinkers. Wiley. ISBN 978-1-4051-3218-3.
  2. "Louis Althusser - Philosopher - Biography". 2015-09-24. Archived from the original on 2015-09-24. Retrieved 2023-06-08.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)