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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Jaroslav Krejci – – History of European Ideas 8 3: Presses Universitaires de France,—; tr. It is hardly worth pointing out that, in the first case, the application of a method, the exteriority of the dialectic to its possible objects poses a pre-dialectical questiona question without any strict meaning for Marx. 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.

Inthe family moved again, this time to Lyon. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. However, Althusser made the case that these texts were contradictory and insufficient for this purpose.

There, on the 22 nd of October,he died of a heart attack.

Louis Althusser

The simultaneous enthusiasm that Althusser showed in Lyon for Royalist politics did not last the war. As they seemed to offer a renewal of Marxist thought as well as to render Marxism philosophically respectable, the claims he advanced in contraviction s about Marxist philosophy were discussed and debated worldwide. That the concepts Althusser derived from his symptomatic reading of Marx, Lenin, and Mao were Marxist concepts was avowed.

We have oveddetermination 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. But such an inversion in sense would in fact leave the dialectic untouched.


Or, we can say, even if these two examples are a kind of overdetermination, this kind of overdetermination is benign. Why this paradoxical exception? Hegel indeed contrariction something to offer. First, with the idea that human individuals are merely one of the sites at which the contradictory productive forces that characterize an era are enacted, Althusser signals that the primary object of social philosophy is not the human individual.

Each of these essays includes the suggestion that critique and reform will occasion a better church and a truer Christianity. The Detour of TheoryNew York: Presses Universitaire de France, — In addition, these texts suggest the need for a thorough study of Marx.

During the decades in which he became internationally known for his re-thinking of Marxist philosophy, Althusser continued in his post at the ENS. In other words, schematically, by contradlction life on the one hand and spiritual life on the other.

althjsser It is simply to invert the relation of the terms and thus to retain them: 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.

We must admit that this extraction cannot be painless; in appearance an unpeeling, it is really a demystificationan operation which transforms what it extracts. 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. It also includes a Hegelian ovverdetermination of the existing Catholic Church which suggests that the church is incapable of such an alliance without a theological revolution.

Montesquieu, Rousseau, MarxLondon: Because the past is never more than the internal essence in-itself of the future it encloses this presence of the past is the presence to consciousness of consciousness itself, and no true external determination.



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. However, before the school year began, he was mobilized into the army.

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.

For Marx, both terms and relation are changed in nature and sense. Or does it refer as much to other structurespolitical. So far there is no revelation here for readers of Machiavelli and Vauban, who were as expert in contradictiln arts of the defence as of the destruction of a position, and judged all armour by its faults.


We must carry this through to its conclusion and say that this overdetermination does not just refer to apparently unique and aberrant historical situations Germany, for examplebut is universal; the economic dialectic is never active in the pure state ; in History, these instances, the superstructures, etc.

However, none of these determinations is essentially outside the others, not only because 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.

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. Allow me one last example.