Cornelius Castoriadis and Radical Democracy


Cornelius Castoriadis and the Project of Radical Autonomy analyses the philosophy of Greek-born French philosopher Cornelius Castoriadis. A leading member of the influential revolutionary group, Socialism or Barbarism in France, Castoriadis analysed contemporary political subjectivity and culture in terms of the collective and individual attempt to gain autonomy. His philosophy frames a multi-dimensional analysis of modern capitalist societies, based on a systematic critique of orthodox Marxism, Heideggerian ontology and Lacanian psychology.
The present volume consists of two parts. In the first part, his most significant essays written before his departure to France in 1945 are translated and present young Castoriadis’ interpretation of Max Weber’s theory of bureaucratic societies. The second part consists of a series of essays by various scholars on aspects of Castoriadis’ mature philosophy in relation to other thinkers, and against the background of Europe’s political and social history.

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Vrasidas Karalis holds the Sir Nicholas Laurantos’ Chair in Modern Greek and Byzantine Studies at the University of Sydney. He has published extensively on Byzantine historiography, Greek political life, Greek Cinema, European cinema and contemporary political philosophy.
He has edited three volumes on modern European political philosophy, especially on Martin Heidegger, Hannah Arendt and Cornelius Castoriadis. His recent publications include A History of Greek Cinema (Continuum/Bloomsbury, 2013) and Greek Cinema from Cacoyannis to the Present (Forthcoming by I.B. Tauris).
Part 1: Essays by Cornelius Castoriadis

Author’s Introduction to the Publication of the 1988 Edition
Cornelius Castoriadis
Translated by Vrasidas Karalis and Anthony Stephens

1. Directions of the Journal Sociological and Ethical Archive
Cornelius Castoriadis
Translated by Vrasidas Karalis and Anthony Stephens

2. On the Work of Max Weber
Cornelius Castoriadis
Translated by Vrasidas Karalis and Anthony Stephens

3. Obituary for A[gis] Stinas
Cornelius Castoriadis
Translated by Vrasidas Karalis and Anthony Stephens

Part 2: Essays on Castoriadis

4. The Choral Ode from Antigone: “πολλὰ τὰ δεινὰ […]”
Refracted Through Cornelius Castoriadis and Martin Heidegger
Anthony Stephens

5. Aesthetics and Autonomy
Andrew Cooper

6. Philosophy and Theatre: Cornelius Castoriadis on the Imaginary Structure of Meanings in Theatre and Performance
George P. Pefanis

7. Bureaucratic Capitalism and the work of Cornelius Castoriadis
Peter Murphy

8. Contexts of Capitalism: From the ‘unlimited extension of “rational mastery”’ to civilizational varieties of accumulation and economic imagination.
Jeremy Smith

9. Between Modernism and Postmodernism: Castoriadis and the Politics of Heterodox Marxism
Simon Tormey

10. Between Creative Democracy and Democratic Creativity
Craig Browne

11. Imagining Democracy
Jeff Klooger

12. Autonomy, Oligarchy, Statesman: Weber, Castoriadis and the Fragility of Politics
John Rundell

13. Radical Democratic Subjectivity: Possibilities and Limits
Toula Nicolacopoulos and George Vassilacopoulos
All those interested in the fields of political philosophy, critical theory, Marxism, capitalism, Castoriadis, Max Weber, and social history.
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