This book features a highly significant discussion between Paul Ricoeur and Cornelius Castoriadis. Recorded for Radio France (Culture) in 1985, it is the only known encounter between these two great philosophers of the imagination. Their wide ranging conversation covers such themes as the productive imagination, human creation, social imaginaries, and the possibility of historical novelty; it reveals points of surprising commonality as well as divergence in their approaches. The dialogue is supplemented by critical essays by specialist scholars in Castoriadis and Ricoeur studies, and includes contributions from Johann P. Arnason, George H. Taylor, François Dosse, Johann Michel, Jean-Luc Amalric, and Suzi Adams. The book is a must read for all scholars interested in Ricoeur and Castoriadis studies, as well as those interested in debates on the possibilities and limits of human creation, and the importance of the imagination for social change.
Editor’s Foreword Suzi Adams / Preface: Situating Castoriadis and Ricoeur Johann P. Arnason / Preface to the French Edition Johann Michel (trans. Scott Davidson) / 1. Dialogue on History and the Social Imaginary Paul Ricoeur and Cornelius Castoriadis (trans. Scott Davidson) / 2. On the Cusp: Ricoeur and Castoriadis at the Boundary George H. Taylor / 3. Castoriadis and Ricoeur on Meaning and History: Contrasts and Convergences Johann P. Arnason / 4. Ricoeur and Castoriadis: The Productive Imagination Between Mediation and Origin Jean-Luc Amalric / 5. Castoriadis and Ricoeur on the Hermeneutic Spiral and the Meaning of History: Creation, Interpretation, Critique Suzi Adams / 6. The Social Imaginary as Engine of History in Ricoeur and Castoriadis by François Dosse (trans. Natalie J. Doyle) / Contributor Bios
This fascinating comparison between two major contemporary thinkers, who had only limited contact with each other, nevertheless takes us to the heart of major issues in social theory: the interworking of institutions and symbols, their significance for relations of power and the scope for radical change in history. The authors, in charting the relations between these two views, end up casting an enormous amount of light on these crucial questions.
This engaging live dialogue between Ricoeur and Castoriadis offers important insights into inexhaustible hermeneutic interpretation and productive collective imagination, which turn around the question of the possibility of radical novelty in thinking and social being. The publication of the debate is accompanied by a set of perceptive interpretations and commentaries that are philosophically significant in their own right.
Suzi Adams has assembled an important collection of essays that offer crucial insights into the significance human production and creativity have for history, politics, and action. Ricoeur and Castoriadis in Discussion represents a major contribution to our understanding of the social imaginary’s critical role in a world beset with social and political challenges.
Suzi Adams has made an important contribution to our understanding of French intellectual life in recent years by assembling a series of thoughtful essays by noted authors around an encounter between two major figures: Paul Ricoeur and Cornelius Castoriadis. In their conversation, translated here in English for the first time, the two philosophers join forces to tackle the question of human creativity in history.
Suzi Adams is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Flinders University, Australia. She is the author of Castoriadis’s Ontology: Being and Creation (2011), and editor of Cornelius Castoriadis: Key Concepts (2014) and Cornelius Castoriadis: Critical Encounters (a special issue of the European Journal of Social Theory, 2012, co-edited with Ingerid Straume).
Contributors: Johann P. Arnason, Jean-Luc Amalric, François Dosse, Johann Michel, George Taylor