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Hardcover | Out of Print | 426 pp. | 6 x 8.9 in | July 1987 | ISBN: 9780262031349
Paperback | $45.00 X | £37.95 | 426 pp. | 6 x 8.9 in | January 1998 | ISBN: 9780262531559
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The Imaginary Institution of Society

Translated by Kathleen Blamey


This is one of the most original and important works of contemporary European thought. First published in France in 1975, it is the major theoretical work of one of the foremost thinkers in Europe today.

Castoriadis offers a brilliant and far-reaching analysis of the unique character of the social-historical world and its relations to the individual, to language, and to nature. He argues that most traditional conceptions of society and history overlook the essential feature of the social-historical world, namely that this world is not articulated once and for all but is in each case the creation of the society concerned. In emphasizing the element of creativity, Castoriadis opens the way for rethinking political theory and practice in terms of the autonomous and explicit self-institution of society.


“Castoriadis's The Imaginary Institution of Society is a work of great power and originality. As a work of social theory, I would argue that it belongs in a class with the writings of Habermas and Arendt.”
Jay Bernstein, University of Essex