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Castoriadis and Thesis Eleven

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This article critically considers Castoriadis' central concept of creation ex nihilo. It does so in two ways. It first draws on recent research to suggest that the historical inauguration of the project of autonomy in ancient Greece - in both its political and philosophical aspects - was more complex and contextually anchored than Castoriadis acknowledges: it did not surge forth out of nothing. Second, it considers the idea of creation from a theoretical perspective. Here the idea of creation as contextual rather than absolute is offered. Within this suggested qualification, two lines of discussion - drawn from the hermeneutical and phenomenological traditions - are broached.
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In this article we explore the ways in which the notion of the imagination might be mobilized to support researchers to develop transgressive research imaginations and communities with the capacities to think, 'be' and 'become' differently in a world of research increasingly governed by rampant reductionist rationality. To assist us we draw from the evocative views of imagination developed by Cornelius Castoriadis, the imagination's most radical exponent. In this article his ideas about knowledge and its links to the imagination will be deployed as we discuss the following questions: What does the notion of the imagination mean in the everyday world of university research? Is all research an act of the imagination? What might it mean to globalize the research imagination? We will also illustrate the ways in which the imagination is mobilized in (globalizing) research practice.
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