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Philosophy Today

Volume 58, Issue 4, Fall 2014

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

Edouard Jourdain
Pages 527-544
DOI: 10.5840/philtoday201481135

Justice et utopie
Lire ensemble Ricœur et Proudhon

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.