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Self And World

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Chapter Summary

Society and signification are consubstantial. On the other hand, nothing exists as signification which is not social-historical. Castoriadis' approach is to begin with a broad analysis of the category of the 'self'. According to him, the self may be distinguished by certain characteristics. It possesses self-finality, self-preservation, self reasons, and the self incorporates a world of its own. As 'for-itself', the living being possesses self-finality; that is, it determines the goals of its own actions, chief among which is its own self-preservation. A presentation is essentially a 'setting into images'-'images' here meaning not just visual images but any arrangement that embodies and conveys meaning. All presentations involve the bringing into relation of distinguishable elements. The being of these elements can never be entirely separated from their interrelationship in an image, but neither can we reduce the image constituted by this interrelationship to its organisation.

Keywords: Castoriadis; self-preservation; social world



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