Philosophy Critical Thinking

Castoriadis: Psyche, Society, Autonomy by Jeff Klooger

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By Jeff Klooger

This booklet is a severe exploration of the philosophical underpinnings and implications of Cornelius Castoriadis’ reflections on Being, society and the self. The booklet introduces the reader to the most recommendations of Castoriadis’ paintings, yet is going additional to discover the elemental philosophical matters addressed by means of Castoriadis, and to severely study the problems his paintings opens up, assessing and, the place precious, providing advised amendments to the solutions Castoriadis himself places ahead. Key conceptual difficulties addressed comprise the excellence among autonomy and heteronomy, the character of the self and self-creation, and the character of decision in a essentially indeterminate universe.

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Extra resources for Castoriadis: Psyche, Society, Autonomy

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Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, trans. Norman Kemp Smith, London, MacMillan, 1933, pp. 136-137. 4 Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, p. 226. 5 Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, p. 235. 6 Ibid. 7 Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, p. 237. Creation, Society and the Imaginary • 41 Thus, ‘if A, then B, then C and so on’; so that the positing of any one element necessarily brings everything else with it, either as a consequence or by implication. This applies, of course, not merely to all that is, but to all that has been and all that will be—that is, to all of history, past and future.

This will require a conception of the human subject which allows for the existence of real and not merely apparent others within it, a subject which participates in a dimension which exceeds it and can act against it, but is not, for all that, alien to it; a dimension which is, on the contrary, the subject’s own birthplace and inescapable element. Only then will we be able to reconcile the truth of the experience of heteronomy, of being determined by an other, with the idea that this is nonetheless a form of self-creation, though one which differs from autonomy in a profound rather than a superficial way.

Part I of Politics. 32 • Chapter One by members of an autonomous society is a necessary humility, the acceptance of some absolute limits imposed on human activity and aspirations by virtue of our social nature and the self-creating character of society. The latter, for example, necessarily renders futile any attempt to fully determine the future form of society, even where this means attempting to ensure that a society will remain autonomous. Though it cannot eliminate the distinction and the tension between instituting and instituted society, autonomy does imply a transformation of the relationship between these two aspects of the social, and this itself presupposes the creation of a new type of institution, one whose stability is not predicated on the repudiation and alienation of the source of social self-creation.

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