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By William Hinton

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Sample text

I cannot deal with the least of these conclusions here, but they are easily developed, particularly where they involve the structure of the visible and the invisible, a foretaste of whose importance can be detected here. , his ideological arguments and concepts. I only want to insist on one particular point: the play on words on which this conception is based and which involves the concept ‘real’. In fact, it is possible to give a first characterization of this empiricist conception of knowledge as a play on the word ‘real’.

I am alluding precisely to what the history of ideological philosophy classifies as the ‘problem of knowledge’ or ‘theory of knowledge’. I say ideological philosophy since it is this ideological posing of the ‘problem of knowledge’ which defines the tradition that coincides with Western idealist philosophy (from Descartes to Husserl, via Kant and Hegel). , not as a real problem but as the problem that had to be posed if the desired ideological solution was to be the solution to this problem. I cannot deal here with this point which defines the essentials of ideology, in its ideological form, and which in principle reduces ideological knowledge (and par excellence the knowledge which ideology is discussing when it reflects knowledge in the form of the problem of knowledge or the theory of knowledge) to a phenomenon of recognition.

The progressive and systematic production of a reflection of the problematic on its objects such as to make them visible, and the illumination, the production of the deepestlying problematic which will allow us to see what could otherwise only have existed allusively or practically. As a function of this demand, I can claim to have read the specific theoretical form of the Marxist dialectic in its directly political existence (and actively political: the policies of a revolutionary leader – Lenin – immersed in the revolution); as a function of this principle, I can claim to have treated Mao Zedong’s 1937 text on contradiction as a description of the structures of the Marxist dialectic reflected in political practice.

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