Autonomy and authenticity. On the aporetic nature of time and history: Castoriadis—heidegger

Critical Horizons 7 (1):277-301 (2006)
Abstract
This paper explores the aporetic nature of social and historical being as it emerges from a juxtaposition of the philosophies of Castoriadis and Heidegger with specific emphasis on their meditations on history, individuality and collective being. It is argued that any current attempts to grasp the problems posed by historical time should not overlook the conceptual space opened up by contrasting Castoriadis' theorisation of social-historical praxis as the enactment of autonomy expressed through the emergence of the `radically new' with Heidegger's treatment of authentic historicity as fate and repetition. The attempt of both thinkers to break with the philosophical tradition of the West is examined from the perspective of their conceptions on time and history, while their opposing accounts serve to revaluate the traditional dichotomy between allegedly `linear' and `cyclical' conceptions of time. Additionally, it is argued that instead of treating Phenomenological-Hermeneutic and Marxist accounts as adverse and incompatible, our reflections on history and society are enriched by their juxtaposition. Castoriadis and Heidegger present us with the most promising individual cases of thinkers representing these philosophical schools mainly due to their emphasis on the historical dimension of human life and to their overall groundbreaking philosophical elaborations that resist labelling and defy confinement to specific philosophical or epistemic traditions.
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