Volume 13, 2013
On the Proper Use of Phenomenology Paul Ricoeur Centenary
Paul Ricœur, Olivier Abel
L’attention. Etude phénoménologique de l’attention et de ses connexions philosophiques
Paul Ricœur held the conference on attention at Rennes, on the 2nd of March 1939, before the Philosophical Circle of the West. At the time, Ricœur, aged 26, was a teacher of philosophy at Lorient, in the south of Brittany. The text published here, which is available in the Paris Archives, is Ricœur’s extended version of this conference. His careful analysis of attention is impressive in its phenomenological emphasis: from the first lines, he draws relations between attention and perception, considering their intentional character, and continues by distinguishing attention from anticipation, preperception and waiting. A particular concern is given to the relation between attention and temporal duration – a question that will be reworked later in his philosophy of the will. After questioning how attention implies the notion of truth (not without reminding the contributions of Descartes, Thomas, Malebranche and Berkeley), he concludes by meditating upon the relation between attention and liberty.