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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In this understanding of Marxist philosophy, societies and subjects are seen as patterns overdetefmination activity that behave in predictable ways. This means, for instance, that some economic elements within a whole may be more or less capitalistic while others simultaneously operate according to socialist norms.

It would have surprised no one if Althusser had continued to influence French political and philosophical life subtly, through the students that he mentored, through his scholarship on the history of political philosophy, through the colloquia among philosophers, scientists, and historians that he organized, and through his routine work as a Party member.

Presses universitaires de France. The role of historical materialism is to analyse in the strict sense the mechanisms producing the ideological recognition of the obvious, given facts, just as psycho-analysis explains the mechanism producing the mirror-recognition of Narcissistic identification with the other. This page was last edited on 6 Aprilat In philosophy of mind, the famous case of overdetermination is called mental-physical causal overdetermination. 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.

Rather, and in line with the parallelism attributed by Leibniz to Spinoza, as each productive process transforms a unique material concepts in science, goods in economics, social relations in politicseach process can only be understood in terms of its unique causal structure.

Louis Althusser (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

In periods of stability the essential contradictions of the social formation are neutralized by displacement; in a revolutionary situation, however, they may condense or fuse into a revolutionary rupture. These concepts are generally taken even by some Marxists to mean the machines or their productivity on the one hand, and the human relations between the members of a society on the other.

Condensation and displacement were used by Freud to indicate the two ways dream-thoughts are represented in the dream-work — by the compression of a number of dream-thoughts into one image, or by transferring psychical intensity from one image to another.


Goshgarian in Philosophy of the Encounter: There can be no singular conception of a overfetermination. Historicisms may or may not be humanist Sartre and Colletti respectively. Second is the thesis that chance or the aleatory is at the origin of all worlds.

Already, even in defeat, the Revolution had demonstrated and measured the weakness of Tsarist Russia. Instead, one should expect a modest althuser from an idealist ideology to one that is materialist and more scientific and which has a better chance of realizing its goals. Historical materialism is the science of althuusser formations.

Balibar shows that they are in fact merely the concept of the pattern of development peculiar to a mode of production, the concept of the limits of variation of its movement and of the eventual barriers to its development, i.

Whereas there may unproblematically be recognised many different necessary conditions of the event’s occurrence, no two distinct events may lay claim to be overdetermknation conditions, since this would lead to overdetermination. Iat the same time as peasants holdings were being expropriated in the late 15 th and early 16 th centuries by a nascent bourgeoisie, the church and the aristocracy were passing laws against this appropriation.

Wolff, Class Theory and History: Lewis in Gregory Elliott ed. This version of Marxist philosophy had dominated European leftist thought and action since the dawn of the Cold War in and, in France, was widely disseminated via Communist Party schools and literature.

Fetishism is the mechanism which conceals the real functioning the real movement — wirkliche Bewegung of the dominant structure in the social formation, i.


Althusser uses the analogy of these processes of psychical overdetermination to denote the different forms of the overdetermination of contradictions in the Marxist theory of history. As he understood it, the two tendencies are always in a war of opposition with the one functioning to reinforce the status quo and the other to possibly overcome it. To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: The latter belong to the infrastructure, the former to the superstructure.

Balibar, on the other hand, uses it to designate the theory of the transition from one mode of production althusserr another Tendency Althusser Marx describes a number of the capitalist mode of production as tendencies notably the tendency of the rate of profit to fall.

Overdetermination – Wikipedia

In this capacity, he began offering courses and tutorials on particular topics in philosophy and on particular figures from the history of philosophy. In no sense is this a formal demand; it is the absolute theoretical condition governing the definition of the economic itself.


To see this present implies the possibility of cutting a section through the historical current, a section in which the essence of that current is visible. This is not a subjective mystification, but the mode of appearance of reality Marx calls it a reality — Wirklichkeit.

Of course, these specific relations between structure and superstructure still deserve theoretical elaboration and investigation. 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.

At the most, he succeeded in carving out some autonomy for theoretical reflection within the Party. For him, this existentialist diagnosis is a type of idolatry: Something like this argument will appear again in his classical work as a critique of the empiricist tendency in Marxist philosophy. Is this a caricature? Here, then are the two ends of the chain: In his autobiographical writings, Althusser credits the experiences of solidarity, political action, and community that he found in the camp as opening him up to the idea of communism.

From these readings in the history of philosophy, Althusser aims to suggest that this tradition exists and that it is both philosophically fecund and viable.

The abstract is the starting-point for theoretical practice, its Generality I, while the concrete is its end-point Generality III. That the concepts Althusser derived from his symptomatic reading of Marx, Lenin, and Mao were Marxist concepts was avowed. Overdetermination means that every aspect of society is always a cause and an effect. This interest in Catholicism and his participation in Catholic organizations would continue even after Althusser joined the Communist Party in Economic practice is the transformation of nature by human labour into social products, political practice the transformation of social relations by revolution, ideological practice the transformation of one relation to the lived world into a new relation by ideological struggle.