Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, Vol 8, No 2 (2012)

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'What ought we to think?' Castoriadis’ Response to the Question for Thinking

Toula Nicolacopoulos, George Vassilacopoulos


Castoriadis views the project of autonomy as central to both political action and philosophical thinking. Although he acknowledges that the political project has retreated, he insists on its thinkability as a viable project. We argue that this insistence gives rise to an unresolved tension. Specifically, Castoriadis’ substantive response to the question ‘what ought we to think?’, which he gives in terms of the pursuit of the philosophical project of autonomy, ultimately fails to recognise the unavoidable effect of the political project’s retreat on the thinker and this failure raises doubts as to whether Castoriadis’ own thinking has the potential to move beyond a merely journalistic style of critique, which he finds objectionable.

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