Castoriadis at the limits of autonomy? Ecological worldhood and the hermeneutic of modernity

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    This article critically engages with Castoriadis's elucidation of autonomy. It does so by taking into account the implications of Castoriadis's enduring interest in the ecological devastation of the natural world, on the one hand, and the changing configuration of his philosophical anthropology, on the other-especially in regard to his reconsideration of the creativity of nature in the 1980s and the reconfiguration of the nomos and physis problematic. It contextualizes these movements in his thought within a broader hermeneutic of modernity that, following Johann Arnason, emphasizes the cultural currents of both Romanticism and the Enlightenment as constitutive of modernity as a field of tensions. In an extension of Arnason's elaboration, however, the present article argues that a latent opening towards an ecological worldhood is implicit to Castoriadis's hermeneutic of modernity that, conversely, also finds Castoriadis at the limits of autonomy.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)313-329
    Number of pages17
    JournalEuropean Journal of Social Theory
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012


    • Autonomy
    • Cornelius Castoriadis
    • ecological worldhood
    • hermeneutic of modernity
    • Johann Arnason
    • philosophical anthropology
    • physis and nomos


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