RationalWiki:Articles for deletion/Louis Althusser

From RationalWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Louis Althusser | Result: Keep[edit]

Louis Althusser (edit|talk|history|protect|delete|links|watch|logs) – (View log)


#A notable philosopher with some cranky ideas for sure, but writing an on-mission page on him might not be worth it considering many of more dubious ideas (authoritarian apologia/pseudoscience/uncritical acceptance of psychoanalysis) are already covered on various other pages, such as Jacques Lacan for example FirmlyGraspIt (talk) 23:17, 28 November 2023 (UTC)

  1. More or less agreed with above. I'm a bit more sympathetic to Althusser's work writ large thatn FirmlyGraspIt, but that which we would want to criticize is pretty academic issues that would require a lot of work to make use of for the average reader. There are also questions about whether he's even a relevant topic to most people browsing this wiki; wingnuts pretty much never target Althusser anymore, and contemporary moonbats take less interest in him than other similar philosophers, IME. Monochroma (talk) 04:32, 29 November 2023 (UTC)


  1. What even is this argument? "Other pages cover similar topics, so why even have a page since it's redundant"? Then retool pieces of that info from those pages onto this one, and add links to those pages where they can fit. People are going to land on different pages depending on search queries, they aren't scanning the entire wiki. The Lacan page doesn't mention Althusser at all. "It would be a lot of work to get the page in good shape" — better close the whole wiki then. Chillpilled (talk) 05:04, 29 November 2023 (UTC)
  2. It's not very good, but also not thaaat bad and Althusser is indeed missional. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 10:09, 29 November 2023 (UTC)
  3. Improve, don't delete. If the quality is that bad, move it to draft space. —cosmikdebris talk stalk 17:40, 29 November 2023 (UTC)
  4. Deleting articles is not a positive act. If they are bad it's better to improve them. (And it's not necessary to move articles to draftspace before improving them - it's a wiki - just improve them) Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 07:49, 9 December 2023 (UTC)
  5. Keep, improve. There are more articles being deleted, than there are being created.. Arcadium Trancefer (talk) 20:45, 9 December 2023 (UTC)

#The given rationale is a very weak argument. Just because the same crankery is covered elsewhere doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have an article on one of the specific people promoting it. Just do some more research, add some more references and perhaps a few direct quotations too. And a bit of expansion too. No need to throw out the baby with the bathwater --Goatspeed. How's my editingCircularREmail2.gifasoningSee what I'm planning 17:14, 29 November 2023 (UTC)

We've deleted articles for less. That said, the general quality of articles covering the humanities (and the social sciences) here tend to be... lacking. Do we really want such poor articles to stay in mainspace when they could just as easily be redirected to draftspace? Carthage (talk) 17:27, 29 November 2023 (UTC)


  1. Changed my mind, per Carthage. This, along with several other sub-par humanities-related articles, should be moved to draft space and have a sweeping topic-improvement campaign advertised on the Saloon Bar to recruit more editors to help these articles properly earn their place in the mainspace. --Goatspeed. How's my editingCircularREmail2.gifasoningSee what I'm planning 18:51, 29 November 2023 (UTC)
    Doesn't RationalWiki also have a dedicated to-do list? Luigifan18 (talk) 14:47, 30 November 2023 (UTC)
    The to-do list. The place where when you're too lazy to do the work you try to enlist others to do it for you. You want anything to get done you have to do it yourself. Carthage (talk) 20:48, 9 December 2023 (UTC)
  2. Move to draft-space. Carthage (talk) 18:57, 29 November 2023 (UTC)
  3. I’m now inclined to move this to the draft space as well but I will probably not be able to really work on the article until I’m able to pick up my copy of ‘’For Marx’’ and my old notes on it from my folks’ place (which will be around Christmas time). And to assuage my concerns, no it will not just be a hit piece any criticism will be defended by a thorough reconstruction of his arguments. FirmlyGraspIt (talk) 14:37, 30 November 2023 (UTC)


  • Relevancy has been used as a criterion for deletion before. So it has precedent. Carthage (talk) 13:20, 29 November 2023 (UTC)
  • A couple of ideas: 1 Althusser mudering his wife is only tangentially missional (this was probably a mistake). It should be mentioned since domestic violence is of course missional, but I'd rather see an article that challenge his more authoritarian ideasm (while I don't know if Althusser was a tankie, they love him, so there is probably something wrong with him). That being said, the article doesn't need to be a hit-piece, and his Reading Capital is, as far as I'm aware, very respected between Marxists, even those that hate Althusser. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 13:45, 29 November 2023 (UTC)
    Althusser was a harsh critic of Soviet-style "communism," so I'd like to see which tankies "love" him. Carthage (talk) 13:55, 29 November 2023 (UTC)
    I think Althusser liked Lenin, not Stalin[1] and was apparently a ML himself[2]. Though, granted, he was talking about Lenin the thinker, not the politician, and does not even mention the USSR in his essay. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 14:03, 29 November 2023 (UTC)
    How can I get around the paywall to read The NY Times article? In general, ML means Stalinist. In reading Althusser I have focused more on his philosophy of science so that is what is most fresh to my mind. I did read his more political/historical essays a few years ago and got the sense that they were vague enough as to be open to interpretation as authoritarian apologia and that’s how tankies usually adopt his philosophy (whether this was purposeful or not on his part is a different question that’s harder to give a well-researched answer to). FirmlyGraspIt (talk) 18:06, 29 November 2023 (UTC)
    I use archive.today to get around paywalls. I'm not feeding bloated corporations my money. It's predatory and gatekeeps the very poor from accessing information. Carthage (talk) 18:15, 29 November 2023 (UTC)
    Thank you Carthage. Also I’m new to editing here so I was not sure what a good reason to delete an article would be. I also agree that Althusser murdering his wife has basically nothing to do with his philosophy. I can agree that the article doesn’t need to be a hit-piece but his major ideas (at least in the form he presented them) are all basically pseudoscience in the sense that they all fall out of things he takes as given a priori or inferences from sentences which make sense only because he chose to define a word in a certain way. What I mean to point out is that he leaves almost no mechanism for incoming empirical data to revise his core assumptions. Even if one were to argue that ‘ISA’ is a purely descriptive and not predictive theory, descriptive theories still need to aim at a minimum of a priori assumptions and replace them with ones which better conform to new data tl;dr Althusser fits the theory to the data using theoretical frameworks which were outdated even in his own day.FirmlyGraspIt (talk) 18:20, 29 November 2023 (UTC)
  • Thinking about changing my vote. I'm usually against send problematic articles to rot on the draft space, since they usually spend an eternity there, but we seem to have motivated user to edit it. @FirmlyGraspIt of course, you're free to edit whatever you want, but do you still intend to go overhal this article? GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 13:40, 30 November 2023 (UTC)
    Right, but let's try not to make it a hit piece with no actual commentary? That was what started this row in the first place. And @Monochroma also seems to be interested in improving this article. Carthage (talk) 13:54, 30 November 2023 (UTC)
    A brief thing: ML does not "mean Stalinist in general". Often? Certainly. But the distinction matters, especially if we're actually talking about communist theory.
    Anyway, I'd be open to helping but again I am far from an expert on Althusser (I'm not really an expert in any subject frankly) and more or less only have a passing familiarity with some of his theories. Again, the original state of this page was extremely dire when I first encountered it. FirmlyGraspIt seems to be operating with a specific understanding and specific thesis regarding issues with his theories, and that should be appropriate for this wiki. Again, my main request besides what has been stated (specific, clear critique, cursory explanations of ideas) is that the distinction between fact and critique be maintained; again, just a preference.
    However, I'm still ultimately in favor of deletion. We could get it to a good state, but I just don't this subject is particularly relevant to most users or readers of this site, nor to RW's mission, and while there might be incisive critique of Althusser's "epistemological break", it still seems pretty far outside the rhetorical sphere of most stuff on this wiki. Monochroma (talk) 07:55, 1 December 2023 (UTC)
    Which is definitely a valid argument, but the scope of missionality has expanded over the years. Carthage (talk) 08:00, 1 December 2023 (UTC)
If the reason given for deletion had been "not missional" I might well have voted for deletion. There really doesn't seem to anything obviously relevant.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 20:12, 9 December 2023 (UTC)