Kostas Axelos

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Κostas Axelos (June 26, 1924 - February 4, 2010) - sometimes spelled Costas Axelos - was a Greek Philosopher. He was born in Athens to a middle-class family and attended high school at the French Institute[1] and the German School of Athens, Greece. He enrolled in the Law School in order to pursue studies in law and economics. With the onset of World War II he got involved in politics; during the German and Italian occupation he participated in the Greek Resistance, and later in the Greek Civil War, as an organiser and journalist affiliated with the Communist Party (1941-1945). He was later expelled from the Communist Party and condemned to death by the right-wing government. He was arrested and locked in an internment camp but managed to escape.

At the end of 1945 Axelos moved to Paris, France, where he studied philosophy at Sorbonne. From 1950 to 1957 he worked as a researcher in the philosophy branch of C.R.N.S, where he was writing his dissertations[1], and subsequently proceeded to work in Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes. From 1962 to 1973 he taught philosophy in Sorbonne. His dissertation "Marx, penseur de la technique" (translated as "Alienation, Praxis and Techne in the Thought of Karl Marx") tried to provide an understanding of modern technology based on the thought of Heidegger and Marx and was very influential in the 1960s, alongside the philosophy of Herbert Marcuse.

Axelos was a collaborator, columnist, and subsequently editor of the magazine Arguments (1956-1962). He founded and, since 1960, has run the series Arguments in Edition de Minuit[2]. He has published texts mostly in French, but also in Greek and German. His most important book is "Le Jeu du Monde" (Play of the World), where Axelos argues for a pre-ontological status of play.

Axelos last visited Greece in 2009 when he was made professor emeritus of Philosophy by the University of Thessaloniki. He died on February 4, 2010.

His main works are:

  • Heraclite et la Philosophie,
  • Marx Penseur de la Techique,
  • Vers la Pensee Planetaire,
  • Le Jeu Du Monde,
  • Pour Une Ethique Problematique,
  • Systematique Ouverte,
  • Metamorphoses.


  1. 1.0 1.1 http://www.radicalphilosophy.com/pdf/mondialisation.pdf Elden, Stuart INTERVIEW: Kostas Axelos; Mondialisation without the world, Radical Philosophy, 2005
  2. http://www.leseditionsdeminuit.eu/f/index.php?sp=livAut&auteur_id=1383 Kostas Axelos, Éditions de Minuit, 2010-02-02}}

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