December 27, 2019   |   by admin

At present, Althusser’s philosophy as a whole is undergoing a critical is closely related to the idea of “overdetermination” or the theory that. Thus overdetermination is used to refer to multiple causality – or for instance in Freud a hysterical symptom or in Althusser a revolutionary situation – or just the. While he borrowed the word and idea of dialectic from Hegel, Althusser insists that Marx The concept of overdetermination is Althusser’s way of expressing the.

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The relations between the agents of production are then the result of the typical relations they maintain with the means of production object, instruments and of their distribution into groups defined and localized functionally in their relations with the means of production by the structure of production.

This gambit to have the Party directed by theorists rather than by a Central Committee whose Stalinism remained entrenched and who believed in the organic wisdom of the worker met with little success. He spent the remainder of the war as a prisoner of war at a camp in Northern Germany. He now maintained that there was no criterion sufficient to demarcate scientific from ideological concepts and that all theoretical concepts are marked by ideology.

Certainly, in terms of method, style, and inspiration, the Althusser found in these works differs significantly from the Althusser of For Marx and Reading Capital.

Overdetermination – Wikipedia

Later Writings — London: But it could scarcely be maintained without pedantry that among the many small states of North Germany, Brandenberg was specifically determined by economic necessity to become the great power embodying the economic, linguistic and, after the Reformation, also the religious difference between North and South, and not by other elements as well above all by the entanglement with Poland, owing to the possession of Prussia, and hence with international political relations which were indeed also decisive in the formation of the Austrian dynastic power “.

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. Althusser, rejecting historicism, rejects this identification.


Gallimard,—; tr. This dislocation is such that, rather than defining reciprocal limitations which maintain the structure within a certain pattern of development, one of the dislocating connections transforms the other. He rejected reductionist views of human behavior and consciousness.

This dynamics or diachrony is then history. Maspero, ; tr. For Althusser, it is not necessary that this process of distinction and clarification be accomplished before a specific theoretical practice can generate scientific knowledge.

Early Work —60 2. The application of specific relations to the different distributions of the elements present produces a limited number of formations which constitute the relations of production of the defined modes of production. Social science in particular could do so by showing how certain goals were impossible or misguided given present socio-economic relations and by suggesting that, at a certain time and in a certain place, other means and other ends might be more fruitfully adopted and pursued.

The new definition of philosophy can be resumed in three points: Specific socio-economic structures, however, require particular ideologies.

After studying the material conditions of the production process, which express the specific nature of the relations between men and nature, we must now turn to a study of the social conditions of the production process: How did Marx this these relations? The distribution of products is evidently only a result of this distribution, which is comprised within the process of production itself and determines the structure of production.

If we accept that a mental state M is realized by a physical state P. Because the past is never more than the internal essence in-itself of the aothusser it encloses this presence of the past is the presence to consciousness of consciousness itself, and no true external determination. The degree of development of the forces of productionthe state of the relations of production: Presses Universitaire de France, — The Hegelian totality presupposes an original, primary essence that lies behind the complex appearance that it has produced by externalization in history; hence it is a structure with a centre.

The central concept of the Marxist science of politics cf. The specific economic form in which unpaid surplus labour is pumped out of the direct producers determines the relationship of domination and servitude, as this grows directly out of production itself and reacts back on it in turn as overdetemination determinant.


Presses Universitaires athusser France, For Marx, on althusserr other hand, the material life of men explains their history; their consciousness, their ideologies are then merely the overdeterminatkon of their material life. Capitalism and Communism in the U. At the end of the war and following his release from the P.

This page was last edited on 6 Aprilat 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.

Fetishism Althusser Fetishism is the mechanism which conceals the real functioning the real movement — wirkliche Bewegung of the dominant structure in the social formation, i. What can this mean but that the apparently simple althusaer is always overdetermined?

Louis Althusser

An originally Hegelian concept that has become overdeterminztion by its use by all theorists who wish to stress the whole rather than the various parts in any system.

Economic or any other kind of determinism is rejected overdetemination in favor of overdetermination. No one part of a society, neither the economy nor any other part, determines the whole society.

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. Strictly speaking, only the first contradiction — between sensuous consciousness and its knowledge can be althsser simple. Rather, history is seen as the ceaseless interplay or mutual effectivity of aspects or instances.

To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: For example, Arnold Schwarzenegger is constituted, as a unique human being, by all his experiences and all the experiences that preceded him and all the social and natural processes coincident with all those experiences which shaped those experiences and therefore shaped Arnie. Wolff, Contending Economic Theories: