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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Even though it is his most well known intervention, this was not the first attempt by Althusser to try and influence kverdetermination Party he had tried once before during the mid s from his position as cell leader at the ENS and it would not be his last. Unfortunately for this neat schema, this is not Marx.

Of course, these specific relations between structure and superstructure still deserve theoretical elaboration and investigation. Retrieved from ” https: First among them, following Democritus, is the thesis that matter is all that exists. Whereas there may unproblematically be recognised many overdeterminatiob necessary conditions of the event’s occurrence, no two distinct events may lay claim to be sufficient conditions, since this would lead to overdetermination.

However, and as was detailed above, Althusser rejects dontradiction simple understanding of causality offered by this model in which economic practices order consciousness and our cultural practices.

Views Read Edit View history. Eric Yang – – Philosophical Studies 2: Surely, with the overdetermination of any contradiction and of any constitutive element of a society, which means: Overdstermination is not to say that human beings do not conceive of or strive for contdadiction best order for social life or that they do not believe that they are essentially free or equal and deserving of rights. For example, the German Social-Democrats at the end of the nineteenth century imagined that they would shortly be promoted to socialist triumph by virtue of belonging to the most powerful capitalist State, then undergoing rapid economic growth, just as they were experiencing rapid electoral growth such coincidences do occur.


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Whether these texts represent a continuation of, althjsser even the key to his philosophy or whether they are an aberration is presently being debated in the secondary literature. In his classic work, Althusser had tried to accomplish this goal by separating out ideological concepts and by bringing forth the scientific ones.

Presses Universitaires de France, — Vatter, Miguel, Presses Universitaires de France, ; tr. 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.

Overdetermination – Wikipedia

Of course, this is not inconsistent with the theory of reading and authorship that underwrites a symptomatic reading of a text. Maspero, ; tr. Montesquieu, Rousseau, MarxLondon: And its own contradiction appears in this very simplicity: In constituting this unity, they reconstitute and complete their basic animating unity, but at the same time they also bring out its nature: Goshgarian in The Spectre of Hegel: It would have surprised no one if Althusser had continued to influence French political and philosophical life subtly, through the students that he mentored, through his scholarship on the history of political philosophy, through the colloquia among philosophers, scientists, and historians that he organized, and through his routine work as a Party member.

Nonetheless, his relationship with the Party and with Rytman deepened during this period. It took a long time before Althusser explicitly addressed the charge that he had ignored much of what Marx had to say about his own logic and concepts.

What is its theoretical status? They also provide evidence of the cycles of deep depression that began for Althusser in and that would mark him for the rest of his life.

Gallimard,89—; tr. Unless a circumstance-clause is included, the putative cause to which one wishes to draw attention could never be considered sufficient, and hence not comply with the counterfactual analysis.


Kukla, Rebecca and Mark Lance, Thus, in a way parallel to Marx pointing out in Capital V. Early Work —60 2. Though he did not argue that there was a way to leave ideology behind and to reveal the good in itself, he did maintain that science could help to correct ideological thinking about political means and ends.

Louis Althusser, Contradiction and overdetermination – PhilPapers

But where in Hegel would you find all that? That is why the present can feed on the shades of its past, or even project them before it, just as the great effigies of Roman Virtue opened up the road to Revolution and Terror for the Jacobins. Finally, this Marxism has given up the dream of analyzing the whole of culture and its movement from the outside; it realizes that one thinks inside and about the culture one inhabits in order to possibly effect and change that culture.

But it could scarcely be maintained without pedantry that among the many small states of North Germany, Brandenberg was specifically determined by economic necessity to become the great power embodying the economic, linguistic and, after the Reformation, also the religious difference between North and South, and not by other elements as well above all by the entanglement with Poland, owing to the possession of Prussia, and hence with international political relations which were indeed also decisive in the formation of the Austrian dynastic power “.

On the other hand, anyone who wants to attack it, even if the odds are apparently against him, need only discover this one weakness to make all its power precarious.