Overdetermination

Justin Schwartz jschwart at freenet.columbus.oh.us
Mon Feb 19 18:51:05 MST 1996


On Mon, 19 Feb 1996, Rahul Mahajan wrote:

> Can somebody tell me what this means in the world of academic Marxism? I
> came across it several times recently, but it seems not to bear any
> relationship to what I understand by the term.
>
> Rahul
>
 It's an Althusserian technical term. I am a little unclear on its excat
meaning. Maybe Davis can help here. As I understand it, it refers to
something like the multiple sources of causation (material, nonmaterial,
etc.) of social phenomena, such that except in "the last instance,"
whatefver that means, events cannot be explained by reference to simply
material factors. It is supposed to be comtrasted to simple economic
determinism. Is that right, David? --Justin




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