Encyclopedia of Educational Philosophy and Theory

Living Edition
| Editors: Michael A. Peters

Castoriadis on Autonomy and Heteronomy

  • Ingerid S. Straume
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-287-532-7_418-1



Cornelius Castoriadis (1922–1977) was a Greek-French philosopher, psychoanalyst, and political thinker-activist who has contributed original insights to a wide range of fields. Autonomy – and its antithesis, heteronomy – was a central and enduring interest of Castoriadis that he explored and elaborated in various settings, including ancient and modern democracy, workers’ self-management, and the living being. In most of his work, there is a sense of importance, a political urgency, which informs the reader that academic work is not a neutral or disinterested activity. However, his philosophical work is oriented toward praxis and not aimed at developing theoretical principles, as shown in his criticism of Marx (Castoriadis 1987) and Rawls (Castoriadis 1997a). This means that, for Castoriadis, what autonomy would look like in practical terms is not something that could be deduced and described by philosophers –...


Social Institution Citizenship Education Social Reproduction Democratic Politics Democratic Polis 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Reference and Research Section, Oslo University LibraryUniversity of OsloOsloNorway