By Jeff Klooger
This ebook is a serious exploration of the philosophical underpinnings and implications of Cornelius Castoriadis’ reflections on Being, society and the self. The ebook introduces the reader to the most suggestions of Castoriadis’ paintings, yet is going additional to discover the basic philosophical matters addressed through Castoriadis, and to significantly learn the problems his paintings opens up, assessing and, the place precious, delivering instructed 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
In this way we are able to ignore the full implications of the ideas of novelty and originality which the term connotes. In order to focus our attention on the radical and heterodox aspects of the concept of creation, Castoriadis draws a distinction between ‘difference’ and ‘otherness’, creation signifying the emergence of forms or figures which are truly ‘other’ rather than merely ‘different’. ”1 Figure B is ‘other’ than figure A only if no such derivation is possible. Thus: To say that figure B is other than A means .
One suspects that there are deep motivations at play here, tendencies of thought and culture which are essentially heteronomous, and which continually strive to discover or to create a fully determined and deterministic world. I shall explore this question at length throughout this book. More immediately though, how are such tendencies able to gain a foothold even in the seemingly hostile terrain of the modern project of autonomy? One of the central tasks confronting the project of autonomy being to account for the existing order of society, if the only type of account which is deemed adequate is one which consists in identifying the combination of forces and conditions which have produced this order—where ‘produced’ means ‘determined’, and ‘to determine’ means ‘to render inevitable’—then the pursuit of this task will inevitably lead away from rather than towards autonomy.
From what has been stated thus far, this too would seem obvious. The ‘someone’ in question is the “singular subject or collectivity”; that is, living individuals, singly and in association. The temptation at this juncture—a temptation to which modern thinkers have too often succumbed—is to develop an understanding of autonomy (or of freedom) and hence its antithesis, heteronomy, based on a supposed opposition between society and the individual. Such an approach proves inadequate, however, for a variety of reasons.