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Philosophy Today

Volume 58, Issue 4, Fall 2014

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

Gonçalo Marcelo
Pages 645-664

The Conflict Between the Fundamental, the Universal, and the Historical
Ricœur on Justice and Plurality

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.