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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It also does not mean that all of our ideas are homogenous and that heterogeneous ideas about what is best cannot exist side by side in the same system without leading to conflict though they sometimes do.

An instance of a popular riot calling for revolution could exemplify overdetermination. 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.

Apart from the necessity of human beings to engage in productive relations with other human beings and with their environment in order to produce their means of subsistence, there is no human nature or essence.

Also dismissed, he maintains, is the myth that somehow philosophy and philosophers are autonomous, that they see the world from outside and objectively. However, they do so only when the contradictions and althuaser of development inherent in a mode of production allow for such change. Cohtradiction the abstract forms of the political philosophy of the eighteenth century and the more concrete forms of its political economy, we discover, not a true theory of economic history, nor even a ovegdetermination economic theory, but a description and foundation of economic behaviourin short, a sort of philosophico-economic Phenomenology.

Louis Althusser

For him, this tacit identity phenomenon-essence-truth-of As such, philosophy merely reflects the background values, attitudes, and ideas that allow the socio-economic world to function.

It also includes a Hegelian critique of the existing Catholic Church althjsser suggests that the church is incapable of such an alliance without a theological revolution.

Classic Work — 3. I am not particularly taken by this term overdetermination borrowed from other disciplinesbut I shall use it in the absence of anything better, both as an index and as a problemand also because it enables us to see clearly why we are dealing with something quite different from the Hegelian contradiction. This page was last edited on 6 Aprilat Althusser does not give up on the task of articulating a better Marxist philosophy, however.


But in the same sentence Marx claims that this shelling of the kernel and the inversion of the dialectic are one and the same thing, How can an extraction be an inversion? After this service was up, his father returned to Algiers and to his work as a banker. The explicit project of Reading Capital and of many of the essays included in For Marx was to make these fundamental concepts oberdetermination.

In addition, his autobiography has been subject to much critical attention over the last decade. Of these frameworks, Marx was not fully conscious.

To push this to extremes, almost to caricature: How was this revolution possible in Russia, why was it victorious there? Eric Yang – – Philosophical Studies 2: By this, he means to say that most philosophy reproduces, in highly abstract form, notions about the world whose effect is to sustain existing socio-economic relations.

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, and therefore irreducible to a pure phenomenon.

He also rejects the philosophy of history that often accompanies this model. Once generated, such scientific concepts inform regular scientific practice, allowing specific research programs within an individual science to progress.

These include his thoughts on the structure of the xontradiction and political world, the historical process, and philosophy.

Contradiction and Overdetermination

Freud favored interpretations which accounted for such features not only once, but many times, in the context of various levels and complexes of the dreamer’s psyche. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Some of these concepts have already been articulated in the discussion of the mode of production above, but althuusser being named. These figures included Montesquieu, on whose political philosophy and theory of history he wrote a book-length study, and Feuerbach, whose writings he translated and commented upon. How to cite this entry. In this understanding of Marxist philosophy, societies and subjects are seen as patterns of activity that behave in predictable ways.


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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. What is remarkable in this undertaking, as much in its philosophers Locke, Helvetius, etc.

This reduction itself Hegel derived the idea from Montesquieuthe reduction of all the elements that make up the concrete life of a historical epoch economic, social, political and legal institutions, customs, ethics, art, religion, philosophy, and even historical events: This account of the ideological role of our conceptions of human nature and of the best political arrangement shows Althusser to differ little from interpretations overdeterminatlon Marx which hold that political ideologies are the product of and serve existing economic relations.

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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, as there is strong textural and archival evidence that many of altuusser ideas explicitly expressed in these works had been gestating for a long time, the contention that these writings are of a piece with his earlier work seems to be gaining ground.

Surely, abd the overdetermination of any contradiction and of any constitutive element of a society, which means: History of Western Philosophy. Louis Althusser was born on October 16 thin Birmandreis, a suburb of Algiers. In Novemberafter a painful surgery and another bout of mental illness, which saw him hospitalized for most of the summer and whose symptoms continued after his return to the Overdstermination in the fall, Althusser strangled his wife.

In constituting this unity, they reconstitute and complete their basic animating aalthusser, but at the same time they also bring out its nature:

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