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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Lenin said contrdiction time and time again, and Stalin summarised it in particularly clear terms in his April speeches. They draw from them the basic notion that the Capital-Labour contradiction is never simple, but always specified by the historically concrete forms and circumstances in which it is exercised.

After an examination, a panel of psychiatrists concluded that Althusser was suffering at the time of the murder from severe depression and iatrogenic hallucinations. History, for Althusser, is a process without a subject.

Louis Althusser

Gender as Social Temporality: Hamza, Agon,Louis AlthusserKosovo: In two short essays from on Marxist philosophy, this switch is fully apparent. With this prohibition, Althusser means to exclude from this tradition not only the usual suspects in the rationalist tradition, but also mechanical and dialectical materialisms with their logics of determination.

Such a reactivation would be totally inconceivable for a dialectic deprived of overdetermination. On the one hand, the structure the economic base: Indeed, this concept makes it possible to analyze all of our activities in their specificity and to understand them in their relation to the totality of which they are a part.

Presses Universitaire de France, —; trans. These include his thoughts on the structure of the social and political world, the historical process, and philosophy. And its own contradiction appears in this very simplicity: Enhanced bibliography for this entry at PhilPaperswith links to its database.


There he enjoyed the comforts of the Mediterranean environment as well as those provided by an extended and stable petit-bourgeois family.


Its past is never anything more than itself and only recalls to it that law of interiority which is the destiny of the whole Future of Humanity.

It also includes a Hegelian critique of the existing Catholic Church which suggests that the church is incapable of such an alliance without a theological revolution. Montesquieu and Feuerbach 3. In his description of what these concepts and methodology are, Althusser pretty much overdegermination the Party line, insisting that Marx reversed the Hegelian dialectic, that historical materialism is a science, that the sciences verify dialectical materialism, and that the proletariat needs to be taught Marxist science from above.

A Memoir New York: Presses Universitaires de France, — Cambridge University Press, — Retrieved from ” https: Without knowing it, as at last it died to bring forth its Roman future, it was already Rome, so it never shackled Rome in Rome.

Althusser, however, argues against the idea that history has a subject such as the economy or human agency and that history has a goal such as communism or human freedom. Freed by his ignoble status from the task of influencing the direction of the Communist movement, the texts associated with this project and gathered together in the book Philosophy of the Encounter differ tremendously in subject matter, style, and method from his other writings.

Overdetermination – Wikipedia

La Formation du overdetrmination, —Paris: Overdetermination occurs when a single-observed effect is determined by multiple causes, any one of which alone would be sufficient to account for “determine” the effect.

In addition to inaugurating his extended association with the ENS, the first few years spent in Paris after the war saw Althusser begin three other long-lasting relationships.

In the philosophy of sciencethis means that more evidence is available than is necessary to justify a conclusion. The second problem on the other hand, raises a real question to which it is hardly likely that Marx and his disciples should not have given a concrete answer in theory and practice, in theory or in practice.


We must admit that this extraction cannot be painless; in appearance an unpeeling, it is really a demystificationan operation which transforms what anx extracts.

The shell, the mystical wrapping speculative philosophyshould be tossed aside and the precious kernel, the dialectic, retained. In other words Russia was overdue with its bourgeois revolution on the eve of its proletarian revolution; pregnant with two revolutions, it could not withhold the second even by overdeterminahion the first.

In this understanding of Marxist philosophy, societies and subjects are seen as patterns of activity that behave in predictable ways. For him, this existentialist diagnosis is a type of idolatry: In fact at each moment of its development consciousness lives and experiences its own essence the essence corresponding to the stage it has attained through all the echoes of the essence it has previously been, and through the allusive presence overdeterminatio the corresponding historical forms.

Louis Althusser (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

Louis Althusser was born on October 16 thin Birmandreis, a suburb of Algiers. But these past images of consciousness and these latent worlds corresponding to overdeterminatlon images never affect present consciousness as effective determinations different from itself: Open access to the SEP is made possible by a world-wide funding initiative.

Goshgarian in The Spectre of Hegel: Third, new worlds and new orders themselves arise out of chance encounters between pre-existing material elements. Remaining also is a Marxism which does not cpntradiction to any philosophy of history and which certainly does not maintain that capitalism overdrtermination inevitably lead to communism.

His concepts are also being increasingly employed by philosophers, political theorists, and activists who have returned to Marx and to Marxian analyses in order to explain and to envision alternatives to our present socio-economic conjuncture.