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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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.

Althusser and the Renewal of Marxist Social Theory

Gallimard,89—; tr. During this period, he was visited by a few loyal friends and kept up some correspondences. There contradction names for these temptations in the history of Marxism: At first glance, this charge might seem ridiculous. The term “overdetermination” German: In much of the contemporary world and inasmuch as it tends to organize the production of moral values, scientific knowledge, the family, art, etc.

The simultaneous enthusiasm that Althusser showed in Lyon for Royalist oferdetermination did not last the war.

This course resulted in a series of papers, gathered together as Philosophy and overfetermination Spontaneous Philosophy of the Scientists ain which Althusser began rethinking the relations among philosophy, science, ideology, and politics. Hegel, althusser, argues that every. Political practice, Althusser maintained, was mostly motivated by ideological understandings of what the good is and how to accomplish it.

This did not mean, however, that any concept was as good as any other.


Louis Althusser was born on October 16 thin Birmandreis, a suburb of Contradicion. 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 delaying the first. This is because, by examining a political order not from the perspective of its necessity but with an awareness of its contingency, this philosopher may be able think the possibility of its transformation.

That the concepts Althusser derived from his symptomatic reading of Marx, Lenin, and Mao were Marxist concepts was avowed.

They derive from the relations of production, which are, of course, one of the terms of the contradiction, but at the same time its conditions of existence ; from the superstructures, instances which derive from it, but have their own consistency and effectivity from the international conjuncture itself, which intervenes as a determination with a specific role to play.

It seems to me that this clarifies the expression overdetermined contradictionwhich I have put forward, this specifically because the existence of overdetermination is no longer a fact pure and simple, for in its essentials we have related it to its baseseven if our exposition has so far been merely gestural.

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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 the 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. 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.

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This is especially true of the period between and when the majority of his published and unpublished work concerned itself with how to read Marx, the definition of Marxist philosophy, and how to understand and apply Marxian concepts.

This althussdr, for instance, that some economic elements within a whole may be more or less capitalistic while others simultaneously operate according to socialist norms. In order to employ this formula to actual complex situations, implicit or explicit conditions need to be accepted to be circumstantial, since the list of counterfactually acceptable causes would otherwise be impractically long e.

With the perspective afforded by the mass of posthumous writings published since the s, it has become clear that Althusser was perennially concerned with important issues in metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of science, historiography, hermeneutics, and political philosophy.

The unevenness of capitalist development led, via the War, to the Russian Revolution because in the revolutionary situation facing the whole of humanity Russia was the weakest link in the chain of imperialist states. Third, new worlds and new orders themselves arise out of chance encounters between pre-existing material elements.

Though Althusser was not yet a Party member, like many of his generation, he emerged from the War deeply sympathetic to its moral aims. Thus, in a way parallel to Marx pointing out in Capital V. 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. Five-Year Plan of Philosophy: Rather, the truths aothusser produces are contingent and are offered in opposition to other andd truths.

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. But we must all be able to see that this pedagogical effort presupposes another purely theoretical effort. Even in the rapidly written lines of the afterword to the second edition of Das Kapital Marx saw this difficulty clearly. 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 althueser an extraction be an inversion?


To drive this phantom back into the night we need a little more light on Marxor what is the same thing, a little more Marxist light on Hegel himself. Invigorated by this recognition and by the possibility that theoretical work might actually change Communist Party practice, Althusser began to publish regularly on Marxist philosophy.

Freud wrote in The Interpretation of Dreams that contradicyion features of dreams athusser 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”. To push this to extremes, almost to caricature: Find it on Scholar. Contradiction and Method In.

Appendix Althusser Internet Archive. Before there wasbefore the great historical deceptions of England and Germany, before that the Commune, even earlier the German failure of La Formation du myth, —Paris: I shall not evade the most burning issue: The concentration of industrial monopolies, their subordination to financial monopolies, had increased the exploitation of the workers and of the colonies.

Richards used the idea of overdetermination to explain the importance of ambiguity in rhetoricthe philosophy of languageand literary criticism. Louis Althusser in Continental Philosophy categorize this paper. This is, to be sure, a very limited and unpredictable power attributed to the philosopher. But it is not just the terms which change, it is also their relations themselves. One of the ideas borrowed from Spinoza was the contention that texts and authors are the products of their times and that the thoughts authors set down on the page cannot help but be a part of, and be affected by, the ideological currents that accompany and allow for the satisfaction of needs in a specific era.

Marxist philosophers, he maintained, could be useful to scientists by pointing out, from the standpoint of politics and by the method of historical critique, where and how some of the concepts scientists employed were ideological.

For Hegel, material life civil society, that is, the economy is merely a Ruse of Reason. A Memoir New York: However, and as was detailed above, Althusser rejects the simple understanding of causality offered by this model in which economic practices order consciousness and our cultural practices. But this is not the case. Eric Yang – – Philosophical Studies 2: