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The Castoriadis Reader. Wiley Blackwell Readers

  • ID: 2246480
  • Book
  • May 1997
  • 500 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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Cornelius Castoriadis (b.1922) cofounded the now legendary revolutionary group and journal
Socialisme ou Barbarie (1948–1967). Presently a Director of Studies at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris, Castoriadis is a philosopher, social critic, professional economist, and a practicing psychoanalyst who is considered one of Europe′s foremost thinkers. Through such works as
The Imaginary Institution of Society, Crossroads in the Labyrinth, Political and Social Writings (3 vols.),
Philosophy, Politics, Autonomy, and
World in Fragments, he has renovated social thought and exerted a profound influence on the twentieth century.

For both first–time readers and those already familiar with his work, The Castoriadis Reader provides a thorough overview that encompasses every aspect of his thought: Socialisme ou Barbarie trenchant critique of Russian totalitarianism and of "modern capitalism" in the West which paved the way for an alternative left–wing politics and inspired the 1968 student–worker rebellion in France; the development of ideas of a "project of autonomy" and "the imaginary institution of society"; and a representative selection of recent texts on ecology, aesthetics, the "crisis of Western Societies", the "radical imagination", the philosophical significance of psychoanalysis, an alternative interview offers a historical overview of Castoriadis′s life and work. In a concluding chapter that presents replies to his international critics, the author further clarifies his ideas while opening new paths for the creation of an "autonomous society."

David Ames Curtis′s selection of classical and contemporary material charts Castoriadis′s contributions to the revolutionizing of thought and society over the past five decades. His Foreword and a thorough listing of Castoriadis′s major texts provide the reader with the necessary background for further explorations.

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Editor′s Foreword.



1.′The Only Way to Find out If You Can Swim Is to Get into the Water.′ An Introductiory Interview (1974).

2. Presentation of Socialisme ou Barbarie An Organ of Critique and Revolutionary Orienation (1949).

3. On the Content of Bureaucracy to the Idea of the Proletariat′s Autonomy (1955). On the Content of Socialism, II (1957).

4. Recommencing the Revolution (1964).

5. Marxism and Revolutionary Theory (1964–65). Excerpts. Marxism: A Provisional Assessment. Theory and Revolutionary Project.

6. The Social Imaginary and the Institution (1975). Excerpt. The Social–Historical.

7. The Social Regime in Russia (1978).

8. From Ecology to Autonomy (1980).

9. The Crisis of Western Societies (1982).

10. The Greek Polis and the Creation of Democracy (1983).

11. The Logic of Magmas and the Question of Autonomy (1983).

12. Radical Imagination and the Social Instituting Imaginary (1994).

13. Culture in a Democratic Society (1994).

14. Psychoanalysis and Philosophy (1996).

15. Done and To Be Done (1989).


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David Curtis
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