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Philosophy Today

Volume 58, Issue 4, Fall 2014

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

Damien Tissot
Pages 623-643
DOI: 10.5840/philtoday201481239

Féminismes, justice et universalisme
Esquisse d’une réconciliation dans la philosophie de Paul Ricœur

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.