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Studia Phaenomenologica

Volume 13, 2013

On the Proper Use of Phenomenology Paul Ricoeur Centenary

Pol Vandevelde
Pages 257-272

Le fondement ontologique du récit selon Ricoeur : mimesis, dette et attestation

I examine the problem of what Ricœur calls représentance, which is a stand-in narratives offer of what took place (in the case of historical narratives) or actions (in the case of the re-telling of what people did). Ricœur rejects as insufficient two naive options: first, a simple adequacy between what took place and the historical narrative about it and, second, a simple heterogeneity between them so that historical narratives would be mere “possible versions” of what took place. I explore further why Ricœur brought into consideration the attitude of the one offering the narrative, what he calls a “being-in-debt” or “attestation”. I then offer an assessment of Ricœur’s success in still claiming that what actually happened serves as the ultimate referent of the narratives given of the past event or the action.

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