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Philosophy Today

Volume 58, Issue 4, Fall 2014

Ricoeur, Justice and Institutions / Ricoeur, la justice et les institutions

Michaël Foessel
Pages 513-525

Action, Norms and Critique
Paul Ricœur and the Powers of the Imaginary

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.