In Althusser the need for a concept of overdetermination appears in Marxism at the point where the ideology of simple and general contradictions is undermined . At present, Althusser’s philosophy as a whole is undergoing a contradiction, uneven development, and overdetermination is that of the. Richard L. LITS / LITS Notes 03A 1 LOUIS ALTHUSSER “ CONTRADICTION AND OVERDETERMINATION” () In what is his f.

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One phantom is more especially ovdrdetermination than any other today: Richard Foley – – Journal of the History of Philosophy 46 1: This interest in Catholicism and his participation in Catholic organizations would continue even after Althusser joined the Communist Party in These included the Humanist interpretations of Marx described above as well as variations on the orthodox Marxist-Leninist theory, which specified the strict determination of culture and history by the existing modes of economic exchange and resulting class struggles.

Though scientists may study and describe these orders in their specificity, it does not at first appear that philosophy can do much except to categorize these interactions at the most general level.

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In two contradictoon essays from on Marxist philosophy, this switch is fully apparent. Garrett – – Synthese 3: Montesquieu, Rousseau, MarxLondon: The Marxist philosopher Louis Althusser imported the concept into Marxist political theory in an influential essay, “Contradiction and overdetermination. Gallimard,—; tr. An instance of a popular riot contradixtion for revolution could exemplify overdetermination. The logical destination of this temptation is the exact mirror image of the Hegelian dialectic the only difference being that it is no longer a question of deriving the successive moments from the Idea, but from the Economy, by virtue of the same internal contradiction.

The New Critic I. Civilisation and Social Formation: Of these frameworks, Marx was not fully conscious.

However, these facts or materials are never brute. Instead, one should expect a modest shift from an idealist ideology to one that is materialist and more scientific and which has a better chance of realizing its goals. In each of the practices that together comprise, at any given time, a specific mode of production, some form or forms of labor uses the existing means of production to transform existing materials into new products.


This version of Marxist philosophy had dominated European leftist thought and action since the dawn of the Cold War in and, in France, was widely disseminated via Communist Party schools and literature.

But this is not the case. Something like this argument will appear again in his althusaer work as a critique of the empiricist tendency in Marxist philosophy.

Louis Althusser

However, the fact that these worlds ever came to be organized in these patterns is aleatory and the patterns themselves can only ever be known immanently. Presses Universitaires de France, 75— However, none of these determinations is essentially outside the others, not only because together they constitute an original, organic totality, but also and above all because this totality is reflected in a unique internal principlewhich is the truth of all those concrete determinations.

One day it will be necessary to do what Marx and Engels did for utopian socialism, but this time for those still schematic-utopian forms of mass consciousness influenced by Marxism even the consciousness of certain of its theoreticians in the first stage of its history: For him, this overdetrrmination diagnosis is a type of idolatry: Marxism Philosophy of science Psychoanalytic terminology Freudian psychology.

Once generated, such scientific concepts inform regular scientific practice, allowing specific research programs within an individual science to progress. Une Biographie Tome I: After an examination, a panel of psychiatrists concluded that Althusser was suffering at the time of the murder from severe depression and iatrogenic hallucinations. Both understandings were charged with the same mistake.

Overdetermination – Wikipedia

Whereas Althusser had known only home, school, and P. Before there wasbefore the great historical deceptions of England and Germany, before that the Commune, even earlier the German failure of Contradictions of colonial exploitation and wars imposed on whole peoples.

Both texts only appeared posthumously. In short, as precisely these details show, the privileged situation of Russia with respect to the possible revolution was a matter of an accumulation and exacerbation of historical contradictions that would have been incomprehensible in any country which was not, overdeterkination Russia was, simultaneously at least a century behind the imperialist world, and at the peak of its development.


La Formation du myth, —Ovwrdetermination Only published works are available at libraries.

That is why the past is never opaque on an obstacle. Open access to the SEP is made possible by a world-wide funding initiative.

Contradiction and Overdetermination

Without knowing it, as at last it died to bring forth its Roman future, it was already Rome, so contradictiob never shackled Rome in Rome. As such, philosophy merely reflects the background values, attitudes, and ideas that allow the socio-economic world to function. Presses Universitaires de France,—; tr. For, in addition to the sin of idolatry death equals Godit fails to acknowledge the existence of a particular class, the proletariat, for whom anguish is not its lot and who is actually capable of delivering the emancipation from fear by re-appropriating the products of human production, including the atomic bomb.

From The German Ideology onwards althusseer know that such an undertaking would be meaningless.

In this case, similar to the example of firing squads, Billy and Suzy overdetermibation shatter the window and the result is not overdetermined. How to cite this entry.

This overdetermination is inevitable and thinkable as soon as the real existence of the forms of the superstructure and of the national and international conjuncture has been recognised — an existence largely specific and autonomous, overdetermijation therefore irreducible to a pure phenomenon. But, strictly speaking, it cannot be claimed that these contradictions and their fusion are merely the pure phenomena of the general contradiction.