|Born||March 11, 1922
Constantinople, Ottoman Empire
|Died||December 26, 1997
|Era||20th century philosophy|
|School||Continental philosophy, Western Marxism, Libertarian Socialism|
|Main interests||Libertarian Socialism, political philosophy, developmental psychology, psychoanalysis, economics, sovietology, social criticism, ecology, aesthetics, philosophy of science, ontology|
|Notable ideas||the Project of Autonomy,
the radical imaginary underlying social institutions,
social imaginary significations,
proto-representation (Ur-Vorstellung), the monadic core of the psyche, "the unconscious exists only as an indissociably representative/affective/intentional flux,"
rejecting the reduction of representation to perception,
"the first delegation of the drive in the psyche is the affect," the psyche and the anonymous collective are irreducible to each other, sublimation as the process by means of which the psyche is forced to replace its private objects of cathexis with objects that have value through their social institution, social fabrication of the individual, lability of investments (labilité des investissements), identifying representational activity as prior to reflection, being-in-itself as creative of its own proper world,
idiogenesis/koinogenesis, ontological magma,
ensemblist-identitarian logic, the Cantorian definition of 'set' implies the schema of separation, proto-institutions of legein and teukhein,
Wo Ich bin, soll Es auftauchen ("Where Ego is, Id must spring forth"), the social-historical, the method of elucidation (élucidation), circle of creation, the paradox of history, society's leaning on the first natural stratum, "creation is ex nihilo, but it is neither in nihilo nor cum nihilo,"
vis formandi, societas instituans/societas instituta, plan factory, democratic planning, totalitarian (Soviet) vs. fragmented (Western) bureaucratic capitalism, liberal oligarchy, pseudo-rational mastery, the nomos–physis distinction, three spheres of social action (oikos–agora–ekklesia), criticism of structuralism (logicism) and functionalism (physicalism), criticism of Marxian economics, criticism of Lacanianism
Cornelius Castoriadis (Greek: Κορνήλιος Καστοριάδης; March 11, 1922 – December 26, 1997) was a Greek-French philosopher, social critic, economist, psychoanalyst, author of The Imaginary Institution of Society, and co-founder of the Socialisme ou Barbarie group.
Early life in Athens 
Castoriadis was born in Constantinople and his family moved in 1922 to Athens. He developed an interest in politics after he came into contact with Marxist thought and philosophy at the age of 13. His first active involvement in politics occurred during the Metaxas Regime (1937), when he joined the Athenian Communist Youth (Κομμουνιστική Νεολαία Αθήνας, Kommounistiki Neolaia Athinas). In 1941 he joined the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), only to leave one year later in order to become an active Trotskyist. The latter action resulted in his persecution by both the Germans and the Communist Party. In 1944 he wrote his first essays on social science and Max Weber, which he published in a magazine named "Archive of Sociology and Ethics" (Αρχείον Κοινωνιολογίας και Ηθικής, Archeion Koinoniologias kai Ithikis). During the December 1944 violent clashes between the communist-led ELAS and the Papandreou government, aided by British troops, Castoriadis heavily criticized the actions of the KKE. After earning degrees in political science, economics and law from the University of Athens, he sailed to Paris, where he remained permanently, to continue his studies under a scholarship offered by the French Institute.
Paris and leftist activity 
Once in Paris, Castoriadis joined the Trotskyist Parti Communiste Internationaliste, but broke with it by 1948. He then joined Claude Lefort and others in founding the libertarian socialist group and the journal Socialisme ou Barbarie (1949–1966), which included Jean-François Lyotard  and Guy Debord as members for a while, and profoundly influenced the French intellectual left. Castoriadis had links with the group around C.L.R. James until 1958. Also strongly influenced by Castoriadis and Socialisme ou Barbarie were the British group and journal Solidarity and Maurice Brinton.
Career as economist and distancing from Marxism 
At the same time, he worked as an economist at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development until 1970, which was also the year when he obtained French citizenship. Consequently, his writings prior to that date were published pseudonymously, as Pierre Chaulieu, Paul Cardan, etc. Castoriadis was particularly influential in the turn of the intellectual left during the 1950s against the Soviet Union, because he argued that the Soviet Union was not a communist, but rather a bureaucratic state, which contrasted with Western powers mostly by virtue of its centralized power apparatus. His work in the OECD substantially helped his analyses.
In the latter years of Socialisme ou Barbarie, Castoriadis came to reject the Marxist theories of economics and of history, especially in an essay on Modern Capitalism and Revolution (first published in Socialisme ou Barbarie, 1960–61; first English translation in 1963 by Solidarity).
When Jacques Lacan's disputes with the International Psychoanalytical Association led to a split and the formation of the École Freudienne de Paris in 1964, Castoriadis became a member (as a non-practitioner). In 1969 Castoriadis split from the EFP with the "Quatrième groupe". He trained as a psychoanalyst and began to practice in 1974.
In his 1975 work, L'institution imaginaire de la société (Imaginary Institution of Society), and in Les carrefours du labyrinthe (Crossroads in the Labyrinth), published in 1978, Castoriadis began to develop his distinctive understanding of historical change as the emergence of irrecoverable otherness that must always be socially instituted and named in order to be recognized. Otherness emerges in part from the activity of the psyche itself. Creating external social institutions that give stable form to what Castoriadis terms the magma of social significations allows the psyche to create stable figures for the self, and to ignore the constant emergence of mental indeterminacy and alterity.
For Castoriadis, self-examination, as in the ancient Greek tradition, could draw upon the resources of modern psychoanalysis. Autonomous individuals—the essence of an autonomous society—must continuously examine themselves and engage in critical reflection. He writes:
...psychoanalysis can and should make a basic contribution to a politics of autonomy. For, each person's self-understanding is a necessary condition for autonomy. One cannot have an autonomous society that would fail to turn back upon itself, that would not interrogate itself about its motives, its reasons for acting, its deep-seated [profondes] tendencies. Considered in concrete terms, however, society doesn't exist outside the individuals making it up. The self-reflective activity of an autonomous society depends essentially upon the self-reflective activity of the humans who form that society.
Castoriadis was not calling for every individual to undergo psychoanalysis, per se. Rather, by reforming education and political systems, individuals would be increasingly capable of critical self- and social reflexion. He offers: "if psychoanalytic practice has a political meaning, it is solely to the extent that it tries, as far as it possibly can, to render the individual autonomous, that is to say, lucid concerning her desire and concerning reality, and responsible for her acts: holding herself accountable for what she does."
In his 1980 Facing the War text, he took the view that Russia had become the primary world military power. To sustain this, in the context of the visible economic inferiority of the Soviet Union in the civilian sector, he proposed that the society may no longer be dominated by the party-state bureaucracy but by a "stratocracy"—a separate and dominant military sector with expansionist designs on the world. He further argued that this meant there was no internal class dynamic which could lead to social revolution within Russian society and that change could only occur through foreign intervention.
Later life 
In 1980, he joined the faculty of the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales.
He died on December 26, 1997 from complications following heart surgery.
|Part of a series on|
Edgar Morin proposed that Castoriadis' work will be remembered for its remarkable continuity and coherence as well as for its extraordinary breadth which was "encyclopaedic" in the original Greek sense, for it offered us a "paideia," or education, that brought full circle our cycle of otherwise compartmentalized knowledge in the arts and sciences. Castoriadis wrote essays on mathematics, physics, biology, anthropology, psychoanalysis, linguistics, society, economics, politics, philosophy, and art.
One of Castoriadis' many important contributions to social theory was the idea that social change involves radical discontinuities that cannot be understood in terms of any determinate causes or presented as a sequence of events. Change emerges through the social imaginary without determinations, but in order to be socially recognized must be instituted as revolution. Any knowledge of society and social change “can exist only by referring to, or by positing, singular entities…which figure and presentify social imaginary significations.”
Castoriadis used traditional terms as much as possible, though consistently redefining them. Further, some of his terminology changed throughout the later part of his career, with the terms gaining greater consistency but breaking from their traditional meaning (neologisms). When reading Castoriadis, it is helpful to understand what he means by the terms he uses, since he does not redefine the terms in every piece where he employs them. Here are a few.
The concept of autonomy appears to be a key theme in his early postwar writings and he continued to elaborate on its meaning, applications and limits until his death, gaining him the title of "Philosopher of Autonomy". The word itself is of Greek origin, with auto- meaning 'for or by itself' and nomos meaning law, defining the condition of creating one's own laws, whether as an individual or a whole society. Castoriadis noticed that while all societies create their own institutions (laws, traditions and behaviors), autonomous societies are those in which their members are aware of this fact, and explicitly self-institute (αυτονομούνται). In contrast, the members of heteronomous societies (hetero- 'other') attribute their imaginaries to some extra-social authority (i.e., God, ancestors, historical necessity).
This relates to what he identified as the need of societies to legitimise their laws, or explain why their laws are good and just. Tribal societies for example did that through religion, believing that the laws were given to them by a super-natural ancestor or god and so must be true. Capitalist societies legitimise their system (capitalism) through 'reason', claiming that their system makes logical sense. Castoriadis observes that nearly all such efforts are tautological in that they legitimise a system through rules defined by the system itself. So just like the Old Testament and the Koran claim that 'There is only one God, God', capitalist societies first define what logic is: the maximization of utility and minimization of cost, and then base their system on that logic.
As he explains in one of his lectures in the Greek village of Leonidio in 1984, many newly founded societies start from an autonomous state which is usually in the form of direct democracy, like the town hall meetings during the American Independence and the local assemblies of the Paris Commune. What they end up with however is a form of governance by which, the citizens, do not legislate directly but delegate this power to a group of experts who remain in power, largely unchecked by official means, for a number of years. The ancient Greeks on the other hand developed a system of continuous autonomy where the people (demos) voted constantly on matters of government and law and where the elected rulers, the Archons, were mainly asked to enforce them. In such a system, courts of law were governed by common citizens who were appointed to the degree of judge briefly and army generals were voted in by the people and had to convince them of the correctness of their decisions. Taking some poetic licence to expand this point he says that in this system, the president of the national treasury could have been a Phoenician slave, since he would only be asked to implement the rulings of the demos.
Castoriadis' writings delve at length into the philosophy and politics of the ancient Greeks who, as a true autonomous society knew that laws are man-made and legitimization tautological. They challenged these laws on a constant basis and yet obeyed them to the same degree (even to the extent of enforcing capital punishment) proving that autonomous societies can indeed exist.
The Imaginary 
This term originates in the writings of the French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan (see the Imaginary) and is strongly associated with Castoriadis' work. To understand it better we might think of its usual context, the "imaginary foundation of societies". By that, Castoriadis means that societies, together with their laws and legalizations, are founded upon a basic conception of the world and man's place in it. Traditional societies had elaborate imaginaries, expressed through various creation myths, by which they explained how the world came to be and how it is sustained. Capitalism did away with this mythic imaginary by replacing it with what it claims to be pure reason (as examined above). That same imaginary is, interestingly enough, the foundation of its opposing ideology, Communism. By that measure he observes, first in his main criticism of Marxism, titled the Imaginary Institution of Society, as well as speaking in Brussels, that these two systems are more closely related than was previously thought, since they share the same industrial revolution type imaginary: that of a rational society where man's welfare is materially measurable and infinitely improvable through the expansion of industries and advancements in science. In this respect Marx failed to understand that technology is not, as he claimed, the main drive of social change, since we have historical examples where societies possessing near identical technologies formed very different relations to them. An example given in the book is France and England during the industrial revolution with the second being much more liberal than the first.
Similarly, in the issue of ecology he observes that the problems facing our environment are only present within the capitalist imaginary that values the continuous expansion of industries. Trying to solve it by changing or managing these industries better might fail, since it essentially acknowledges this imaginary as real, thus perpetuating the problem.
So, imaginaries are directly responsible for all aspects of culture. The Greeks had an imaginary by which the world stems from Chaos and the ancient Jews an imaginary by which the world stems from the will of a pre-existing entity, God. The former developed therefore a system of immediate democracy where the laws where ever changing according the people's will while the second a theocratic system according to which man is in an eternal quest to understand and enforce the will of God.
This is a concept that one encounters frequently in Castoriadis' work (in all the references above for example). According to that, the Greeks developed an imaginary by which the world is a product of Chaos, as narrated by both Homer and Hesiod. The word has since been promoted to a scientific term, but Castoriadis is inclined to believe that although the Greeks had sometimes expressed Chaos in that way (as a system too complex to be understood), they mainly referred to it as nothingness. He then concludes what made the ancient Greek society different to other societies is exactly that core imaginary, which essentially says that if the world is created out of nothing then man can indeed, in his brief time on earth, model it as he sees fit, without trying to conform on some pre-existing order like a divine law. He contrasted that sharply to the Biblical imaginary, which sustains all Judaic societies to this day, according to which, in the beginning of the world there was a God, a willing entity and man's position therefore is to understand that Will and act accordingly.
The Ancient Greeks and the Modern West 
Castoriadis views the political organization of the ancient Greek city states as a model of an autonomous society. He argues that their direct democracy was not based, as many assume, in the existence of slaves and/or the geography of Greece, which forced the creation of small city states, since many other societies had these preconditions but did not create democratic systems. Same goes for colonisation since the neighbouring Phoenicians, who had a similar expansion in the Mediterranean, were monarchical till their end. During this time of colonisation however, around the time of Homer's Epic poems, we observe for the first time that the Greeks instead of transferring their mother city's social system to the newly established colony, they, for the first time in known history, legislate anew from the ground up. What also made the Greeks special was the fact that, following above, they kept this system as a perpetual autonomy which led to direct democracy.
He sees a tension in the modern West between, on the one hand, the potentials for autonomy and creativity and the proliferation of "open societies" and, on the other hand, the spirit-crushing force of capitalism. These are respectively characterized as the capitalist imaginary and the creative imaginary:
I think that we are at a crossing in the roads of history, history in the grand sense. One road already appears clearly laid out, at least in its general orientation. That's the road of the loss of meaning, of the repetition of empty forms, of conformism, apathy, irresponsibility, and cynicism at the same time as it is that of the tightening grip of the capitalist imaginary of unlimited expansion of "rational mastery," pseudorational pseudomastery, of an unlimited expansion of consumption for the sake of consumption, that is to say, for nothing, and of a technoscience that has become autonomized along its path and that is evidently involved in the domination of this capitalist imaginary. ¶ The other road should be opened: it is not at all laid out. It can be opened only through a social and political awakening, a resurgence of the project of individual and collective autonomy, that is to say, of the will to freedom. This would require an awakening of the imagination and of the creative imaginary.
He argues that, in the last two centuries, ideas about autonomy again come to the fore: "This extraordinary profusion reaches a sort of pinnacle during the two centuries stretching between 1750 and 1950. This is a very specific period because of the very great density of cultural creation but also because of its very strong subversiveness."
Lasting influence 
Castoriadis has influenced European (especially continental) thought in important ways. His interventions in sociological and political theory have resulted in some of the most well-known writing to emerge from the continent (especially in the figure of Jürgen Habermas, who often can be seen to be writing against Castoriadis). Hans Joas published a number of articles in American journals in order to highlight the importance of Castoriadis' work to a North American sociological audience, and the enduring importance of Johann P. Arnason, both for his critical engagement with Castoriadis' thought, but also for his sustained efforts to introduce Castoriadis' thought to the English speaking public (especially during his editorship of the journal Thesis Eleven) must also be noted. In the last few years, there has been growing interest in Castoriadis’s thought, including the publication of two monographs authored by Arnason's former students: Jeff Klooger's Castoriadis: Psyche, Society, Autonomy (Brill), and Suzi Adams's Castoriadis's Ontology: Being and Creation (Fordham University Press).
Major publications 
- Original French
- La Société bureaucratique en 2 tomes : Les Rapports de production en Russie et La Révolution contre la bureaucratie, 1973
- L'Expérience du mouvement ouvrier in two volumes: Comment lutter and Prolétariat et organisation, 1974
- L'Institution imaginaire de la société, 1975, Seuil
- Les Carrefours du labyrinthe, 1978 (Volume I)
- Le Contenu du socialisme, 1979
- Capitalisme moderne et révolution in two volumes, 1979
- Devant la guerre, 1981
- Domaines de l'homme (Les carrefours du labyrinthe II), 1986
- Le Monde morcelé (Les carrefours du labyrinthe III), 1990
- La Montée de l'insignifiance [The rising tide of insignificance] (Les carrefours du labyrinthe IV), 1996
- Fait et à faire (Les carrefours du labyrinthe V), 1997
- Figures du pensable (Les carrefours du labyrinthe VI), 1998 (posthumous)
- Selected translations of works by Castoriadis
- Postscript on Insignificance: Dialogues with Cornelius Castoriadis. (ed./trans.: Gabriel Rockhill and John V. Garner) Continuum Books, London 2011. 160 pp. ISBN 978-1-4411-3960-3. (hb.)
- The Imaginary Institution of Society (trans.: Kathleen Blamey), MIT Press, Cambridge 1998 . 432 pp. ISBN 0-262-53155-0. (pb.)
- The Castoriadis Reader (ed./trans.: David Ames Curtis) Blackwell Publisher, Oxford 1997. 470 pp. ISBN 1-55786-704-6. (pb.)
- World In Fragments. Writings on Politics, Society, Psychoanalysis, and the Imagination. (ed./trans.: David Ames Curtis) Stanford University Press, Stanford, CA 1997. 507 pp. ISBN 0-8047-2763-5.
- Political and Social Writings. Volume 1: 1946–1955. From the Critique of Bureaucracy to the Positive Content of Socialism. (ed./trans.: David Ames Curtis) University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis 1988. 348 pp. ISBN 0-8166-1617-5. (PSW, vol. 1)
- Political and Social Writings. Volume 2: 1955–1960. From the Workers' Struggle Against Bureaucracy to Revolution in the Age of Modern Capitalism. (ed./trans.: David Ames Curtis) University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis 1988. 363 pp. ISBN 0-8166-1619-1.
- Political and Social Writings. Volume 3: 1961–1979. Recommencing the Revolution: From Socialism to the Autonomous Society. (ed./trans.: David Ames Curtis) University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis 1993. 405 pp. ISBN 0-8166-2168-3.
- Philosophy, Politics, Autonomy. Essays in Political Philosophy. (ed. David Ames Curtis) Oxford University Press, New York/Oxford 1991. 306 pp. ISBN 0-19-506963-3.
- Crossroads in the Labyrinth. (trans.: M.H.Ryle/K.Soper) MIT Press, Cambridge, MA 1984. 345 pp.
- On Plato's Statesman. (trans.: David Ames Curtis) Stanford University Press, Stanford, CA 2002. 227 pp.
- Le Contenu du Socialisme. Paris 1979. (fr.) (in: PSW, vol.1)
- The Crisis of Western Societies. TELOS 53 (Fall 1982). New York: Telos Press
- La Brèche: vingt ans après. (Réédition du livre de 1968 complété par de nouveaux textes). Paris 1988. (fr.)
- Figures of the Thinkable. (trans.: Helen Arnold) Stanford University Press, Stanford, CA, 2007. 304 pp.
- A Society Adrift. Interviews and Debates, 1974–1997 (trans.: Helen Arnold) Fordham University Press, New York, 2010. 259 pp.
- Posthumous compilations
- Fenêtre sur le chaos, 2007 (compiled by Enrique Escobar, Myrto Gondicas, and Pascal Vernay)
- La Culture de l’égoïsme, 2012 (a transcription of an interview that Castoriadis and Lasch gave to Michael Ignatieff in 1986—translated into French by Myrto Gondicas)
Further reading 
- Thesis Eleven, Special Issue 'Cornelius Castoriadis', Number 49, May 1997. Sage Publications, London. ISSN 0725-5136.
- Suzi Adams. Castoriadis's Ontology: Being and Creation. New York: Fordham University Press, 2011. ISBN 978-0823234592.
- Maurice Brinton. For Workers' Power. Selected Writings (ed. David Goodway). AK Press Edinburgh/Oakland 2004. ISBN 1-904859-07-0.
- Jürgen Habermas. The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity: "Excursus on Castoriadis: The Imaginary Institution." Polity Press, 1990, pp. 327–35, ISBN 0-7456-0830-2.
- Alexandros Kioupkiolis. Freedom After the Critique of Foundations: Marx, Liberalism, Castoriadis and Agonistic Autonomy. Palgrave Macmillan, 2012. ISBN 0230279120.
- Jeff Klooger. Castoriadis: psyche, society, autonomy. Brill, 2009. ISBN 978-90-04-17529-7
- Richard Rorty. "Unger, Castoriadis, and the Romance of a National Future." Northwestern University Law Review, 82(2):335–51 (1988).
- Yannis Stavrakakis. "Creativity and its Limits: Encounters with Social Constructionism and the Political in Castoriadis and Lacan." Constellations, 9(4):522–539 (2002).
- Yannis Stavrakakis. The Lacanian Left: Psychoanalysis, Theory, Politics. Edinburgh University Press, 2007, pp. 37–65. ISBN 0791473295.
- Theofanis Tasis. Καστοριάδης. Μια φιλοσοφία της αυτονομίας [Castoriadis. A philosophy of autonomy]. Eurasia books. December 2007. ISBN 978-960-8187-22-1.
- Theofanis Tassis. Cornelius Castoriadis. Disposition einer Philosophie. 2007. FU Dissertationen Online.
See also 
- Indeterminacy in philosophy
- Gödelian argument
- Ensemblist-identitarian logic
- Philosophy of praxis
- The French autonome movement
- Workers' council
- Decentralized planning
- Castoriadis 1987, p. 274.
- Castoriadis 1998, p. 282; confer Freud's term Vorstellungsrepräsentanz des Triebes "ideational representative of the drive" (S. Freud, Die Verdrängung, 1915).
- Cornelius Castoriadis, World in Fragments. Writings on Politics, Society, Psychoanalysis, and the Imagination, pp. 131 and 263; Anthony Elliott, Critical Visions: New Directions in Social Theory, Rowman & Littlefield, 2003, p. 91.
- Les carrefours du labyrinthe: Le monde morcelé (1990), p. 218.
- Cornelius Castoriadis, World in Fragments: Writing on Politics, Society, Psychoanalysis, and the Imagination, Stanford University Press, 1997, p. 268. (Confer Fichte's original insight.)
- An Eigenwelt that is organized through its own time (Eigenzeit); Cornelius Castoriadis, World in Fragments: Writing on Politics, Society, Psychoanalysis, and the Imagination, Stanford University Press, 1997, p. 385.
- Castoriadis C., The Imaginary Institution of Society. MIT Press, 1987, pp. 224–5.
- From the Ancient Greek λέγειν "to say, speak" and τεύχειν "to make."
- This is Castoriadis' version of Freud’s motto Wo Es war, soll Ich werden ("Where Id was, Ego shall come to be").
- "The institution presupposes the institution: it can exist only if individuals fabricated by the institution make the institution exist" (Castoriadis, World In Fragments (1997), p. 315). Klooger has compared Castoriadis' idea of the 'circle of creation' with Heidegger's idea of the 'hermeneutic circle' (Klooger 2009, p. 254). S. Gourgouris (2003) pointed out that the circle of creation is "a circle whose Being is nowhere, since in itself it accounts for the meaning of Being, a meaning that is always inevitably a human ... affair," and that, contrary to what Heidegger advocates, the circle of creation "is never broken by revelation (by 'unconcealment'—aletheia)" (Stathis Gourgouris, Does Literature Think?, Stanford University Press, 2003, p. 153).
- The paradox arising from the assertion that historical consciousness universalizes historical knowledge; see Castoriadis 1987, pp. 34–5; Klooger 2009, p. 242; Konstantinos Kavoulakos, "Cornelius Castoriadis on Social Imaginary and Truth", Ariadne 12 (2006), pp. 201–213.
- Castoriadis posits that new forms are radically novel; this, however, does not imply neither that ontological creation has no prior foundation—it is not in nihilo—nor that it has no constraints—it is not cum nihilo. Confer: Cornelius Castoriadis, Figures of the Thinkable, Stanford University Press, 2007, pp. 241, 258.
- "[B]eing is creation, vis formandi: not the creation of 'matter-energy,' but the creation of forms" (Fait et à faire, p. 212).
- C. Castoriadis, Modern capitalism and revolution, B. Potter, 1965, p. 29.
- Crossroads in the Labyrinth (1984), pp. 46–115; Elliott 2003, p. 92.
- Cornelius Castoriadis, World in Fragments. Writings on Politics, Society, Psychoanalysis, and the Imagination, pp. 273–310.
- Theofanis Tasis. Καστοριάδης. Μια φιλοσοφία της αυτονομίας [Castoriadis. A philosophy of autonomy]. Eurasia books. 2007. pp. 67–68.
- Cornelius Castoriadis, “The Destinies of Totalitarianism,” Salmagundi 60. (Spring/Summer 1983) 108.
- Peter Murphy, "Romantic Modernism and the Greek Polis," Thesis Eleven, 34 (1993): 42–66.
- For a comparative analysis of Hannah Arendt and Cornelius Castoriadis, one may consult Gillian Robinson's "The Greek Polis and the Democratic Imaginary" Thesis Eleven, 40 (1995): 25–43. Castoriadis criticizes Arendt in his interview "The Idea of Revolution" (1989) and in his talk, "Athenian Democracy: False and True Questions" (1992).
- Sean McMorrow, "Concealed Chora in the Thought of Cornelius Castoriadis: A Bastard Comment on Trans-Regional Creation", Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, Vol 8, No 2 (2012).
- Claude Lefort, Writing: The Political Test, Duke University Press, 2000, p. xxxiii.
- Cornelius Castoriadis, Philosophy, Politics, Autonomy, Oxford University Press, 1991, p. 56.
- "Castoriadis: The Living Being and Its Proper World": entry by John V. Garner, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
- Vidal-Naquet et Castoriadis : une affinité intellectuelle et politique, by Olivier Fressard, 25 September 2006
- Michael Albert and Robin Hahnel, Socialism Today and Tomorrow: Socialism in Theory and Practice, South End Press, 1981, p. 384.
- Anthony Giddens, Social Theory Today, Stanford University Press, 1988, p. 110 n. 34.
- Francisco Varela, "Autonomy and closure: The resonances of Castoriadis' thought in the life sciences", CNRS and CREA, École Polytechnique, Paris.
- "Cornelius Castoriadis Dies at 75"
- Castoriadis, Cornelius; Anti-Mythes (1974). "An Interview with C. Castoriadis". Telos (23): 131.
- Howard, Dick (1974). "Introduction to Castoriadis". Telos (23): 117.
- Roudinesco, Elizabeth. Jacques Lacan & Co. University of Chicago Press. p. 433.
- "A magma is that from which one can extract (or in which one can construct) an indefinite number of ensemblist organizations but which can never be reconstituted (ideally) by a (finite or infinite) ensemblist composition of these organizations"; Castoriadis C., The Imaginary Institution of Society. MIT Press, 1987, p. 343.
- Figures of the Thinkable, p. 151.
- Figures of the Thinkable, p. 163.
- Castoriadis, Cornelius (02 1980). "Facing the War". Telos (46): 48.
- Morin, Edgar (1997-12-30). "An encyclopaedic spirit". Radical Philosophy. Retrieved 2008-04-03.
- Castoriadis, Cornelius; Anti-Mythes (01 1974). "An Interview with C. Castoriadis". Telos (23): 152.
- C. Castoriadis (1999). « La rationalité du capitalisme » in Figures du Pensable: Les carrefours du labyrinthe, Paris: Seuil.
- Castoriadis C. (1984). Η Αρχαία Ελληνική Δημοκρατία και η Σημασία της για μας Σήμερα, Publ. Ύψιλον.
- Castoriadis C., The Imaginary Institution of Society. MIT Press, 1987, p. 23.
- Castoriadis C. (1981) (avec Daniel Cohn-Bendit et le Public de Louvain-la-Neuve), De l'écologie à l'autonomie, Édition de Seuil, Paris.
- Castoriadis advocated that the surging forth [surgissement] of signification covers of the Chaos or, in other words, "signification brings into being a mode of being that posits itself as negation of the Chaos (Castoriadis, World in Fragments, 1997, p. 315).
- See Renaissance republics.
- Figures of the Thinkable, p. 146.
- Figures of the Thinkable, p. 134.
- Elliott 2003, p. 101.
- Joas, H. 1989. "Institutionalization as a Creative Process: The Sociological Importance of Cornelius Castoriadis's Political Philosophy", American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 4: 5 (March), 1184–99.
- Arnason, J. P. 1989. “Culture and Imaginary Significations”, Thesis Eleven 22, 25–45.
- Google Books link
- Google Books link
- Jeff Klooger, Castoriadis: Psyche, Society, Autonomy, BRILL, 2009, pp. 226–229.
Obituaries, biographies 
- Cornelius Castoriadis 1922–1997 at the Anarchist Federation website libcom.org, 27 September 2003
- Symposium: Cornelius Castoriadis, 1922–1997, obituaries and profiles by Axel Honneth, Edgar Morin, and Joel Whitebook, Radical Philosophy magazine, July/August 1998 (access restricted to subscribers)
- "Obituary: Castoriadis and the democratic tradition" by Takis Fotopoulos, Democracy & Nature, Vol. 4, No. 1 (1997)
Bibliographies; analyses; critiques 
- The Cornelius Castoriadis/Agora International Website contains bibliographies in many languagues and the complete text of the Socialisme ou Barbarie magazine series (texts scanned in the original French)
- L'Association Castoriadis with bibliography, news, media events, original articles (in French)
- "Castoriadis": entry by John V. Garner, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
- "Cornelius Castoriadis and the triumph of the will" by Alex Callinicos, Chapter 4.3 of Trotskyism, 1990
- Cornelius Castoriadis, critical analysis at the Anarchist Federation website libcom.org
- "An Introduction to Cornelius Castoriadis' Work" by Fabio Ciaramelli, Journal of European Psychoanalysis #6, Winter 1998 (access restricted to subscribers)
- "The Strange Afterlife of Cornelius Castoriadis" by Scott McLemee, Chronicle of Higher Education, 26 March 2004 (access restricted to subscribers)
- Full text of the Cornelius Castoriadis symposium held at the University of Akureyri, from the special issue of Nordicum-Mediterraneum, e-magazine of Nordic and Mediterranean studies, December 2008
- Houston, Christopher, "Islam, Castoriadis and autonomy". Thesis Eleven, February 2004, vol. 76, no. 1, pp. 49–69.
- Suzi Adams, "Castoriadis' long journey through Nomos: Institution, creation, interpretation". Tijdschrift voor Filosofie, 70 (June), 269–295 (2008).
- Suzi Adams, "Towards a Post-Phenomenology of Life: Castoriadis' Naturphilosophie", Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, Vol 4, No 1–2 (2008)
- Linda M.G. Zerilli (2002), "Castoriadis, Arendt, and the Problem of the New", doi: 10.1111/1467-8675.00302.
- "The autonomy project and Inclusive Democracy: a critical review of Castoriadis' thought", by Takis Fotopoulos, The International Journal of Inclusive Democracy, Vol 4, No 2 (April 2008)
- "Unities and Tensions in the Work of Cornelius Castoriadis With Some Considerations on the Question of Organization" by David Ames Curtis, talk delivered to "Autonomy or Barbarism"-sponsored event in Athens, 7 December 2007
- Exchange of letters between Cornelius Castoriadis and Anton Pannekoek, originally published in Socialisme ou Barbarie, translated and introduced by Viewpoint Magazine