The comparison between two apparently distant thinkers such as Hannah Arendt and Cornelius Castoriadis allows us to highlight a joint of contemporary political theory, which concern education in its in its close connection with society and institutions. Both Arendt and Castoriadis have always paid attention to the evolution of political philosophy in relation to the germinal activity of ancient Greek thought, with particular reference to Plato and Aristotle. If, on the one side, Arendt elaborates his attention for the social-historical starting from works such as The origins of totalitarianism (1951) and The Human Condition (1958), redefining, in fact, the boundaries of the discussion around meaning and categories of the “politician”; Castoriadis, on the other side, through the essays that appeared in “Socialisme ou Barbarie” between 1948 and 1967 and the publication of The Imaginary Institution of Society (1975), brings out one of the points of attraction in the relationship between the institution and the institution more contradictory between the normative apparatus of society and the symbolic transformative activity. While substantial differences persist between the two thinkers, the essay tries to highlight the critical and innovative aspects of their reflection, with particular attention to the social function of the individual in his relationship with the community.
Keywords: autonomy, eteronomy, participation, polis, nomos, institution
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