Jacques Rancière

Jacques Rancière (born Algiers, 1940) is a French philosopher and Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Paris (St. Denis) who came to prominence when he co-authored Reading Capital (1968), with the Marxist philosopher Louis Althusser.Rancière contributed to the influential volume Reading "Capital" (though his contribution is not contained in the partial English translation) before publicly breaking with Althusser over his attitude toward the May 1968 student uprising in Paris.Since then, Rancière has departed from the path set by his teacher and published a series of works probing the concepts that make up our understanding of political discourse. What is ideology? What is the proletariat? Is there a working class? And how do these masses of workers that thinkers like Althusser referred to continuously enter into a relationship with knowledge? We talk about them but what do we know? An example of this line of thinking is Rancière's book entitled Le philosophe et ses pauvres (The Philosopher and His Poor, 1983), a book about the role of the poor in the intellectual lives of philosophers.Most recently Rancière has written on the topic of human rights and specifically the role of international human rights organizations in asserting the authority to determine which groups of people — again the problem of masses — justify human rights interventions, and even war.In 2006, it was reported that Rancière's aesthetic theory had become a point of reference in the visual arts, and Rancière has lectured at such art world events as the Freize Art Fair. Former French presidential candidate Ségolène Royal has cited Rancière as her favourite philosopher.

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