Emanuele Profumi

The node of political imaginary

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This article aims to reflect on the philosophical idea of Political Imaginary. Following Castoriadis philosophical reflection on Social Imaginary, it is plausible to say that the Political imaginary is a privileged sphere of it, since it has to do with the self representation of society and its conception of power, on the one hand, and with the central significations and institutions that each society erects as a centre of orientation thanks to its vision of temporality. In order to grasp what the Political Imaginary is, we must abandon the Castoriadsian idea that there is a “social phantomµ composed of central social imaginary significations without a referent in society or in the world. Analysing the symbolic network that refers to the collective self-representation of society, therefore, seems to be the main possibility for identifying the moment and the institutions that create the core of beliefs about society and power that hold together the normative fabric underlying social relations. It is the central institutions that convey the central imaginary of a society and show us where the Imaginary Node is generated. Which means that, to find it, one must identify the symbolism of the central institutions. In fact, the central social imaginary significations are concentrated in the Imaginary Node, which we can assume to be the root of the fundamental link between the instituting imaginary and the Political Imaginary


  • political Imaginary
  • social imaginary
  • Castoriadis
  • imaginary node


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