9
Ideology and its Vicissitudes in Western Marxism Terry Eagleton

From Lukács to Gramsci

To think of Marxism as the scientific analysis of social formations, and to think of it as ideas in active struggle, will tend to yield two quite different epistemologies. In the former case, consciousness is essentially contemplative, seeking to 'match' or 'correspond to' its object in the greater possible accuracy of cognition. In the latter case, consciousness is much more obviously part of social reality, a dynamic force in its potential transformation. And if this is so, then to a thinker like Georg Lukács it would not seem entirely appropriate to speak of whether such thought 'reflects' or 'fits' the history with which it is inseparably bound up.

If consciousness is grasped in this way as a transformative force at one with the reality it seeks to change, then there would seem to be no 'space' between it and that reality in which false consciousness might germinate. Ideas cannot be 'untrue' to their object if they are actually part of it. In the terms of the philosopher J. L. Austin, we can speak of a 'constative' utterance, one which aims to describe the world, as either true or false; but it would not make sense to speak of a 'performative' statement as either correctly or incorrectly 'reflecting' reality. I am not describing anything when I promise to take you to the theatre, or curse you for spilling ink on my shirt. If I ceremonially name a ship, or stand with you before a clergyman and say 'I do', these are material events in reality, acts as efficacious as ironing my socks, not 'pictures' of some state of affairs which could be said to be accurate or mistaken.

Does this mean, then, that the model of consciousness as cognitive (or miscognitive) should be ousted by an image of consciousness as performative? Not exactly: for it is clear that this opposition can be to

-179-

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Mapping Ideology
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction: The Spectre of Ideology 1
  • Notes 30
  • 1: Messages in a Bottle 34
  • 2: Adorno, Post-Structuralism and the Critique of Identity 46
  • Notes 64
  • 3: The Critique of Instrumental Reason 66
  • Notes 88
  • 4: The Mirror-phase as Formative of the Function of the I 93
  • Notes 99
  • 5: Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses (Notes towards an Investigation) 100
  • Notes 138
  • 6: The Mechanism of Ideological (Mis)recognition 141
  • Notes 150
  • 7: Determinacy and Indeterminacy in the Theory of Ideology 152
  • Notes 165
  • 8: The New Questions of Subjectivity 167
  • Notes 178
  • 9: Ideology and its Vicissitudes in Western Marxism 179
  • Notes 224
  • 10: Feminism, Ideology, and Deconstruction: A Pragmatist View 227
  • Notes 233
  • 11: Ideology, Politics, Hegemony 235
  • Notes 262
  • 12: Doxa and Common Life: An Interview 265
  • Note 277
  • 13: Postmodernism and the Market 278
  • Notes 295
  • 14: How Did Marx Invent the Symptom? 296
  • Notes 331
  • List of Sources 332
  • Index 333
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