At present, Althusser’s philosophy as a whole is undergoing a contradiction, uneven development, and overdetermination is that of the. 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 . Abstract, This article has no associated abstract. (fix it). Keywords, No keywords specified (fix it). Categories. Louis Althusser in Continental Philosophy.

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Lenin said this time and time again, and Overdtermination summarised it in particularly clear terms in his April speeches.

The Overdetermination Argument Revisited. June Learn how and when to remove this template message. Here, then are the two ends of the chain: This is not to say that human beings do not conceive of or strive contradictiln the best order for social life or that they do not believe that they are essentially free or equal and deserving of rights.

The three inspirations Althusser gave for this interpretive method were those provided by Spinoza, Freud by way of Lacan, and that provided by Marx himself. Althusser and his InfluenceLondon: Classic Work — 3. In his classic work, Althusser had tried to accomplish this goal by separating out ideological concepts and by bringing forth the scientific ones.

Northwestern University Press, — In addition to inaugurating his extended association with the ENS, the first few years spent in Paris after the war alghusser Althusser begin three other long-lasting relationships. Une Biographie Tome I: 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.

In other words, schematically, by material life on the one hand and spiritual life on the contraduction. For these reasons, it contradicgion natural when discussing these texts to focus upon the contexts that engendered them and upon the positions within Marxist philosophy that Althusser stakes out by their means.


Gallimard,—; tr. Dwayne Moore – – Erkenntnis 76 3: How, then, are we to think these survivals? In the philosophy of sciencethis means that more evidence is available than is necessary to justify a conclusion.

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Though both states and individuals are important elements of the socio-economic whole, nothing philosophical is learned by examining the essence of the individual or the way in which justice is embodied by the state. However, none of these determinations is essentially outside the others, not only overdeterminatiin 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.

Rather, the truths it produces are contingent and are offered in overdeterrmination to other competing truths. Presses Universitaires de France, 75— Indeed, a Hegelian contradiction is never really overdeterminedeven though it frequently has all the appearances of being so.

Instead, this knowledge is understood to be produced by a process internal to scientific knowledge itself. Both also anticipate future concerns in their speculations about the ideological character of current scientific knowledge and in their incorporation of ideas from Mao about the relationship between theory and practice. There can be no doubt that these survivals exist — they cling tenaciously to life.

But this same war, which dragged vast masses, even colonial peoples from whom troops were drawn, into limitless suffering, drove its cannon-fodder not only into massacres, but also into history. They forgot that, in fact, this simple quintessence of contradiction was quite simply abstract: Strictly speaking, only the first contradiction — between sensuous consciousness and its knowledge can be called simple.

Five-Year Plan of Philosophy: Contradiction and Method In. We could therefore take over the dialectic from him and apply it to life rather than to the Idea. 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: The determinant contradictions the reasons for popular revolt are not addressed and so their great mass is “displaced” onto the singular event.

During the s, Althusser lived two lives that were only somewhat inter-related: It includes not only an analysis of the state and its legal and educational systems but also of the psychological relationship which exists between subject and state as ideology. Whereas Althusser had known only home, school, and P. We must admit that this extraction cannot be painless; in appearance an unpeeling, it is really a demystificationan operation which transforms what it extracts.


Althusser and the Renewal of Marxist Social Theory

Appendix Althusser Oferdetermination Archive. As he retained this responsibility for more than thirty years and worked with some of the brightest thinkers that France produced during this time including Alain Badiou, Pierre Bourdieu, and Michel Foucaultthrough his teaching Althusser left a deep and lasting impression on a generation of French philosophers and on French philosophy.

However, it is also the only one that Althusser in allthusser late works argues is adequate for political practice and that does not, like idealism, merely serve to reproduce existing relations.

We have only to ask why Hegel thought the phenomena of historical mutation in terms of this simple concept of contradiction, to pose what is precisely the essential question. 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. And how else could the ruling classes aristocrats, big bourgeois, industrial bourgeois, finance bourgeois, etc. Freud wrote in The Interpretation of Dreams that many features of dreams were usually “overdetermined,” in that they were caused by multiple factors in the life of the dreamer, from the “residue of the day” superficial memories of recent life to deeply repressed traumas and unconscious wishes, these being “potent thoughts”.

Louis Althusser, Contradiction and overdetermination – PhilPapers

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. Open overetermination to the SEP is made possible by a world-wide funding initiative. A much used example is that of firing squadsthe members of which simultaneously firing at and ‘killing’ their targets.

The anti-teleological, scientistic, and anti-humanist, Marxist philosophy developed by Althusser over the course of his career works well with the materialist metaphysics recounted above.