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Democracy and Relativism: A Debate (Reinventing Critical Theory)

Democracy and Relativism: A Debate (Reinventing Critical Theory)

Previous price: $33.00 Current price: $31.00
Publication Date: November 7th, 2019
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers


In this vibrant debate with intellectuals influenced by Marcel Mauss, including Alain Caill and Chantal Mouffe, the incisive Greek-French activist and philosopher Cornelius Castoriadis addresses the challenge of critical thinking in an international context. The first half explores the tradition of radical self-critique and the prospect of affirming its value in a non-ethnocentric way. While defending ancient Greek contributions to the Western tradition of radical self-critique -- including the practice of "relativizing" one's own culture, of engaging in philosophical interrogation, and of establishing democratic institutions -- Castoriadis is challenged to explore the trans-contextual features of any self-critical, or "autonomous," social institution. In the second half Castoriadis offers a penetrating critique of representative democracy, and the discussion makes important strides toward a new conception of direct democracy, of political education, and of the institutional prerequisites for the continuation of radical self-critique in politics and philosophy.

About the Author

Cornelius Castoriadis (1922-1997) was a political activist and author of a large corpus on topics of political philosophy, ontology, psychoanalysis, and economics. He co-founded the French political group Socialisme ou Barbarie (1949-1965), later worked as an economist and psychoanalyst, and served from 1980-1995 as director of studies at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS) in Paris. John V. Garner is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of West Georgia. He is the primary translator of Postscript on Insignificance: Dialogues with Cornelius Castoriadis (2011) and the author of The Emerging Good in Plato's Philebus (2017).