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Hardcover | Out of Print | ISBN: 9780262031349 | 426 pp. | 6 x 8.9 in | July 1987
Paperback | $40.00 X | £29.95 | ISBN: 9780262531559 | 426 pp. | 6 x 8.9 in | January 1998
For sale only in the US and Canada.

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.

About the Author

Cornelius Castoriadis (1922-1997) was a Greek-French philosopher, economist and psychoanalyst. Author of the The Imaginary Institution of Society, co-founder of the Socialisme ou Barbarie group and "philosopher of autonomy."


“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