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 means that these structural differences can be demonstrated, described, determined and thought. Whether these texts represent a continuation of, or even the key to his philosophy or whether they are an aberration is presently being debated in the secondary literature.

Third, new worlds and new orders themselves arise out of chance encounters between pre-existing material elements. Eric Funkhouser – – Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 83 4: But it is not just the terms which change, it is also their relations themselves.

Indeed, a Hegelian contradiction is never really overdeterminedeven though it frequently has all the appearances of being so. The failure of the Revolution in Germany was an exception, the failure in Paris in was althusssr exception, the German Social-Democratic failure at the contrsdiction of the twentieth century pending the chauvinist betrayal of was an exception.

On the contrary, Althusser recruited colleagues and students to the Party and worked closely with the communist cell based at the ENS. Presses Universitaires de France, — Vatter, Miguel, If this communication is successful, Althusser maintained, one should not expect all political activity to be successful.


Montesquieu, Rousseau, MarxLondon: Althusser does not give up on the task of articulating a better Marxist philosophy, however. This body of concepts may be more or less unified and consistent and it may be more or less consciously articulated. In addition to Marx, the philosophers that he cites as being part of this underground tradition include Democritus, Althuszer, Lucretius, Machiavelli, Spinoza, Hobbes, Rousseau, Montesquieu, Heidegger, and Wittgenstein.


Overdeterminstion fact, scientific activity often proceeds without a clear understanding of the concepts that allow it to produce its knowledge. One was that Althusser was only able to offer his reading by ignoring much of what Marx actually wrote about his logic and about the concepts important to his analysis.

It is why there is never for him any basic rupture, no actual end to any real history — nor any radical beginning. We should not think that this means a new technical distribution of roles imposed by overdeterminatiom multiplication of new terms. However, at mid-decade, he did find the energy to re-visit some of oerdetermination old work and to attempt to construct from it an explicit metaphysics. Resch, Robert Paul, La Formation du myth, —Paris: For him, this existentialist diagnosis is a type of idolatry: History, for Althusser, is a process without a subject.

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. For Althusser, it is not necessary that this process of distinction and clarification be accomplished before a specific theoretical practice qnd generate scientific knowledge.


I could go further, and suggest that in the well-known passage: For, after all, are we not always in exceptional situations?

Louis Althusser

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. Wolf, Frieder Otto, Both texts oevrdetermination appeared posthumously. A Dichotomy in the Quest for Social Systems.

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. That Althusser regards most, if not all, contradlction activity as consisting of material processes of production and reproduction can be used as a key to understanding other parts of his philosophy.

And how else could the ruling classes altnusser, big bourgeois, industrial bourgeois, finance bourgeois, etc. This is, to be sure, a very limited and unpredictable power attributed to the philosopher.