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Castoriadis's OntologyBeing and Creation$
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Suzi Adams

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780823234585

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823234585.001.0001

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Hermeneutical Horizons of Meaning

Hermeneutical Horizons of Meaning

(p.100) 4 Hermeneutical Horizons of Meaning
Castoriadis's Ontology

Suzi Adams

Fordham University Press

This chapter addresses the second pole of the creative imagination—the radical imaginary—and critically engages with Castoriadis's theory of meaning as social imaginary significations. It situates him within French phenomenological perspectives in regards not only to meaning, but also to the problematic of the world horizon. Castoriadis emphasizes the world creating capacity of nuclear imaginary significations, such as “God” or “autonomy”, which have no world referent: they are purely generative and creative. The chapter argues that with his elucidation of the being of imaginary significations, Castoriadis makes an implicit hermeneutical turn that relativizes his claims of social-historical creation ex nihilo. The chapter includes an excursus on Johann P. Arnason's cultural hermeneutics and phenomenology of the world as an alternative to Castoriadis's ontological treatment of meaning and the human condition. It is argued that in the final chapter of The Imaginary Institution of Society, Castoriadis began to expand his notion of magma beyond human confines and into natural modes and regions of being, and, with the reappearance of à-être, paves the way to his shift to a trans-regional ontology of creative physis.

Keywords:   hermeneutics, meaning, social imaginary significations, post-transcendental phenomenology, world horizon, culture, Johann Arnason, Durkheim, Weber

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