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The Subject

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores the universal characteristics of human subjectivity that can be found in Castoriadis' philosophy of social change. It aims at locating the orienting framework at a deeper level of being than the narrative self, and thereby revealing greater complexities than are apparent at the level of the self. Taylor argues that the human being is a self-interpreting animal. Castoriadis' ontological approach begins with the question of being itself, and builds an understanding of human subjectivity from this beginning. The chapter outlines Castoriadis' definition of the for-itself, and further outlines the dimensions of the living-being that are directly relevant to a discussion of the human psyche. It discusses Castoriadis' argument that the human psyche is defunctionalize, and analyzes Castoriadis' conception of autonomy. Finally, the chapter explores the 'realism' implicit in Taylor's and Castoriadis' respective philosophies.

Keywords: autonomy; Castoriadis' realism; human psyche; human subjectivity; Taylor



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