Althusser, Louis

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Althusser, Louis Gender: M
Louis Pierre Althusser
born on 16 October 1918 at 04:30 (= 04:30 AM )
Place Birmendreïs, Algeria, 36n45, 3e03
Timezone GMT h0e (is standard time)
Data source
BC/BR in hand
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Steinbrecher
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_libcol.18.gif 22°00' s_mo.18.gif s_aqucol.18.gif 29°53 Asc.s_libcol.18.gif 03°39'

Portrait of Louis Althusser 
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Louis Althusser
license fair-use


French-Algerian philosopher and teacher at the ENS, a Marxist and an author. During World War II, he spent five years in a concentration camp.

He joined the Marxist Party in 1948 and began to publish major articles on the philosophy in the early '60s. His books include "Lenin and Philosophy," 1971. An elegant theorist, he redefined the concept of "ideology" as "our imaginary relationships to real conditions of existence" and fought against a purely economical interpretation of the works of Marx.

He had a history of manic-depression; on 16 November 1980 his madness escalated to where he strangled his wife, Helene Rytman, a sociologist, at their suite at the Ecole Normale Superieure, an elite institute for the training of the French professorate where he had lived, first as a student, then as a professor, for 34 years. His homicide was dismissed on grounds of insanity by a Paris court and he was committed to a mental hospital in 1981.

A certain sexual confusion, ambiguity or guilt seems to have been imbued into his mental breakdown. He wrote that he was a virgin at age 30 when he first made love to Helene, 38, and, hospitalized with anguish, vowed he would never do it again. He later tortured his wife with his infidelities, seducing other women in her presence.

He remained institutionalized until 1984, after which he retired quietly to an apartment far from the Ecole Normale. Calling himself a "missing person" he wrote the second volume of his memoirs from a "non-place." "The Future Lasts Forever" was published in 1990 after his death. His sense of his own nonexistence is at the core of his memoirs. The passages where he explores his own success, and his concomitant feelings of being a fake (his ability to charm, to reduce things to a formula), are among the most critical moments of the book. Nonetheless, the sense of Althusser's contribution to the history of philosophy are not lessoned; his theories, by now, have taken on a life of their own, separate from his life.

Althusser spent his final years in a geriatric center outside Paris where he died of heart failure on 22 October 1990 at age 72.

Link to Wikipedia biography



  • Social : Joined group 1948 (Joined Marxist Party)
  • Relationship : First Sex 1949 (Virgin at 30 when he first made love to Helene)
  • Mental Health : Psychotic episode 16 November 1980 (Strangled his wife to death)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Death by Heart Attack 22 October 1990 (Heart failure, age 72 plus six days)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

B.C. in hand from Steinbrecher.


  • Diagnoses : Psychological : Bi-Polar Disorder (Hospitalized four years)
  • Family : Relationship : Stress - Traumatic event (Killed his wife)
  • Lifestyle : Work : Same Job more than 10 yrs (Taught at ENS 34 years)
  • Passions : Criminal Perpetrator : Homicide single (Strangled wife)
  • Passions : Criminal Victim : Concentration camp (Five years)
  • Personal : Religion/Spirituality : Philosopher/ Humanist (Philosopher)
  • Vocation : Education : Teacher (Professor)
  • Vocation : Politics : Party Affiliation (Marxist)
  • Vocation : Writers : Religion/ Philosophy (Marxist philosophy)
  • Notable : Book Collection : Crime Collection