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By James Decker

ISBN-10: 0230629148

ISBN-13: 9780230629141

ISBN-10: 0333775376

ISBN-13: 9780333775370

James M. Decker analyzes the heritage of Western ideology from its pre-Enlightenment roots to its present incarnations, offering readers with either an important assessment of keywords and matters and a considerate overview of a few of the real severe thinkers linked to the thought, together with Marx, Gramsci and Althusser. shut readings of key texts, starting from Toni Morrison's Sula to William Faulkner's "Barn Burning", display the impression of ideology on serious perform and literary acceptance.

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Ultimately, Bacon implies, words – rather than thorough experimentation – dictate the results of philosophy. Obviously, Bacon’s Idols of the Mind establish many precedents for future theorists of ideology. Bacon problematizes the notion of a truly autonomous subject, for he depicts consciousness as contingent on received knowledge. Institutions, language, and even biology serve to draw distinct parameters around a subject’s mental geography and delimit the products (ideas) of a given psyche. Like Plato, Bacon posits a theory of ideology steeped in the pejorative long before Napoleon chastises de Tracy.

The subject functions as no more than a conduit for the will to power, and notions of personal identity and autonomy neglect the contrived origins of such concepts. As Lichtheim glosses Nietzsche, ‘all thought is ideological; its unconscious function is to serve the life process’ (Lichtheim 1967, 29). Within a rational scheme, of course, as Eagleton points out, when everything falls under the rubric of ideology the value of the term dissipates: it seems too plastic to possess a practical use. Such metaphysical elasticity, however, serves Nietzsche’s irrational paradigm well and unsettles the entire notion of logic and empiricism.

Zizek conceives of his project as an attempt to liberate the subject from the grips of an ideology that replicates itself within the mind and, thus, leads to an ‘externalization of the result of an inner necessity,’ as he observes in his introduction to Mapping Ideology (1994, 4). Quite apart from Freud’s dichotomy of self and culture, Zizek’s theory posits that the subject, not the state, now serves as the locus of ideology. Similarly, in contrast to Marx’s camera obscura analogy, Zizek argues that ideology consists not of faulty perception, but of a deluded ontological frame of reference.

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Ideology (Transitions) by James Decker


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