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1. Philosophy Today: Volume > 58 > Issue: 4
Gonçalo Marcelo Introduction
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2. Philosophy Today: Volume > 58 > Issue: 4
Michaël Foessel Action, Norms and Critique: Paul Ricœur and the Powers of the Imaginary
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The unity of Paul Ricœur’s philosophy can be restated using the question of the imagination as a guideline. Ricœur’s goal was to envisage the imagination not as a psychological faculty but as a semantic power. Metaphor and narrative allow us to see the real in a different way, hence to imagine it. The image has less to do with perception and concepts. It is the instrument that allows them to be articulated. This shift of the imaginary to the practical dimension is confirmed in Ricœur’s theory of ideology and utopia.
3. Philosophy Today: Volume > 58 > Issue: 4
Edouard Jourdain Justice et utopie: Lire ensemble Ricœur et Proudhon
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Ricœur ends his Lectures on Ideology and Utopia by analyzing the works of Saint Simon and Fourier through the lens of the idea of utopia. In taking up these thinkers whom Engels labeled “utopian” socialist, we note that Ricœur did not deal equally with the work of another important socialist: Proudhon. My hypothesis is that it is possible to read Proudhon using Ricœur in that their approaches are similar at a number of points. Fruitful connections can be drawn between the dialectic of the real and ideal developed by Proudhon and Ricœur’s dialectic of ideology and utopia. Both thinkers deal with justice in the form of a certain tension: a tension that for Ricœur (beyond the deontology and teleology found to some extent in the dialectic of ideology and utopia) requires practical wisdom, and a tension that for Proudhon (beyond the ideal and the real) requires an equilibrium of social and political forces.
4. Philosophy Today: Volume > 58 > Issue: 4
Gilbert Vincent Au croisement de l’épistémologie et de l’ontologie: Le concept d’institution chez Ricoeur
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Our analysis deals with the concept of institution presented in the seventh and eighth studies of Paul Ricœur’s Oneself as Another. The judgment on institutions found there is somewhat ambivalent: sometimes institutions are understood as a mediation that establishes society and the individual, sometimes it is suspected of imposing itself like an abusive transcendence and of blocking interpersonal relations. To be sure, one does find, in Ricœur, explanations for this ambivalence. History does show that institutions are “fragile,” that they can fail in their mission—the just distribution of different goods–that they can even be criminal. We intend to show here that the idea of an institution, for Ricœur, is shaped by his contrasting evaluation of two major sociologists, Weber and Durkheim (who seem to serve as a foil). We also consider the many reflections in Ricœur’s text about a “just institution,” which testify to his concern for fairness.
5. Philosophy Today: Volume > 58 > Issue: 4
George H. Taylor Ricœur and Just Institutions
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In Oneself as Another, Ricœur famously writes of the ethical intention as “aiming at the ‘good life’ with and for others, in just institutions.” This article explores the potential meaning of “just institutions,” a theme underdeveloped in Ricœur’s work. While many have argued that institutions necessarily reify and so cannot aim toward just ends, the article draws on Ricœur’s differentiation between objectification and reification to show why this need not be the case. While reification destroys human value and meaning because it reduces human activity to a thing, objectification characterizes the positive externalization of ourselves in objects—in words, deeds, structures, and institutions. Institutions such as the law are structures that can positively objectify our just aspirations, even if we must continually guard against these structures’ reified reduction. Ricœur shows us how objectification, including objectification of values in institutions, can be something not only positive but necessary in order for values to flourish.
6. Philosophy Today: Volume > 58 > Issue: 4
Eileen Brennan Doing Justice to Justice: Ricœur's Discovery of the Juridical Plane
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This article takes up Paul Ricœur’s suggestion that he learned more about the idea of justice by positioning himself on the juridical plane than he had by moving directly to a consideration of political theory. It contends that Ricœur’s very interesting but largely neglected text, “The Just between the Legal and the Good,” illustrates the value of doing philosophical work at a level where there is an imperative to make a judgement and following on from that to distribute, in the fairest way possible, the goods that are at the heart of the dispute. The article also offers a detailed commentary on Ricœur’s text, noting the unusual form of critique that it brings to bear on Rawls’s principles of justice. It also discusses Ricœur’s proposals for entrenching those principles in a concrete judicial practice.
7. Philosophy Today: Volume > 58 > Issue: 4
Patrick Turmel Concept et objet de la justice: Réflexions sur le lien entre principes et institutions
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This paper reflects on the idea that social institutions inform the development and justification of principles of justice. First, I situate this question in the context of contemporary debates in political philosophy. Then, I turn to a particular defense of this idea by looking at the conceptual relation established by John Rawls between the concept and the subject of justice. Finally, I look at works by Paul Ricœur in which he discusses Rawls’s theory of justice. Ricœur insists in various places on the distributive character of social institutions, in a way that helps shed light on the relation between principles and institutions.
8. Philosophy Today: Volume > 58 > Issue: 4
Damien Tissot Féminismes, justice et universalisme: Esquisse d’une réconciliation dans la philosophie de Paul Ricœur
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This article explores the ways in which Ricœur’s philosophy can provide interesting solutions to some of the major critiques that feminists have issued in the last decades against classical theories of justice, and against their universalistic dimensions in particular. Of particular interest is Ricœur’s rereading of John Rawls’s philosophy, as it echoes some notable concerns of feminist theories of justice. While many theories of justice are founded upon abstract notions of an ideal subject, not allowing for questions of structural inequalities, Ricœur’s theory converges with feminist critics that argue for the theorization of the subject in relation to the other. The article particularly highlights Ricœur’s philosophy of recognition as a response to the critiques of the exclusions inherent in theories of universalism up to this point. Ricœur works to create a possible universalism that can be more broadly inclusive, both by the recognition of each individual in his or her own singularity, and by moving beyond the distinction between public and private.
9. Philosophy Today: Volume > 58 > Issue: 4
Gonçalo Marcelo The Conflict Between the Fundamental, the Universal, and the Historical: Ricœur on Justice and Plurality
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This article presents conflict as the key concept in the overarching framework of Paul Ricœur’s philosophy. Against this backdrop, it sets out to present Ricœur’s theory of justice as an ongoing debate between what is taken to be the fundamental (or sometimes the universal) and the historical, context-dependent traits of human experience. Second, it reconstructs Hannah Arendt’s and Michael Walzer’s defenses of plurality, the autonomy of the political sphere and the creativity of human action. Finally, it argues for critical vigilance in the protection of the autonomy of the political sphere against economic invasion and for the rekindling of our fundamental power to act.
10. Philosophy Today: Volume > 58 > Issue: 4
Philippe Lacour En quel sens la rationalité juridique est-elle herméneutique?: Sur un héritage contemporain de philosophie pratique ricœurienne en théorie du droit
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This essay draws some consequences affecting juridical rationality, particularly its normative theory, from the discussion of Ricoeur’s philosophy of law by Alain Papaux and François Ost. It emphasizes in particular the ambiguities of Papaux’s position regarding the notion of abduction and stresses the irreducibility of the hermeneutic dimension of legal argument.