Imaginatively Grounded Figures: Dancing with Castoriadis

PhaenEx 13 (1):86-115 (2019)
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This paper argues that twentieth-century philosopher Cornelius Castoriadis’ innovative concept of imagination is closely related to his treatments of dance. More specifically, it revolves around his concept of “figure,” which thereby suggests a productive partnership with my own philosophy of dance, which I call “Figuration.” The first and second sections below review the interpretations of Castoriadis’ imagination in the two book manuscripts on him in English, Jeff Klooger’s Psyche, Society Autonomy (which supplements Castoriadis with Fichte) and Suzi Adams’ Castoriadis’ Ontology (which supplements him with hermeneutics). My final section defends Castoriadis against these two critical supplements through a close reading of his magnum opus, The Imaginary Institution of Society. There I re-choreograph Castoriadis’ use of the Freudian concept of “leaning on” (Anlehnung, from the Greek anaclisis) as “bending back” (anaclasis, following Klooger’s misspelling of anaclisis). In short, the imagination is like a dancer, bending back to nature understood as “the region which resists” (to varying degrees) the social.
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Archival date: 2019-09-19
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