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Critique and Conviction:  Conversations with Francois Azouvi and Marc De Launay Critique and Conviction : Conversations With Francois Azouvi and Marc De Launay (European Perspectives) by Paul Ricoeur, Francois Azouvi (Contributor), Marc B. De Launay, Kathleen Blamey

Critique and Conviction offers a rare opportunity to share personally in the intellectual life and journey of the eminent philosopher Paul Ricoeur. Internationally known for his influential works in hermeneutics, theology, psychoanalysis, and aesthetics, he has until now been silent on the subject of himself. In this book - a conversation about his life and work with Francois Azouvi and Marc de Launay - Ricoeur reflects on a variety of philosophical, social, religious, and cultural topics, from the paradoxes of political power to the relationship between life and art, and life and death. In the first of eight conversations, Ricoeur traces the trajectory of his life, recounting the origins of his convictions and the development of his intellect during the tragic events of the twentieth century. Declaring himself the "son of a victim of the First World War," Ricoeur, an orphan, sketches his early years in the house of stern but loving grandparents, and the molding of his intellect under the tutelage of Roland Dalbiez, Gabriel Marcel, and Andre Philip. Ricoeur tells the intriguing story of his capture and five-year imprisonment by the Germans during World War II, when he and his compatriots fashioned an intellectual life complete with a library and lectures, and when he, amazingly, was able to continue his dissertation research. Interweaving anecdotes with philosophical meditations, Ricoeur recounts his relationships with some of the greatest figures of the twentieth century including Heidegger, Jaspers, and Eliade. He also shares his views on French philosophers and explains his tumultuous relationship with Jacques Lacan. And while expressing his deepest respect for the works of Claude Levi-Strauss and Michael Foucault, Ricoeur reserves his greatest admiration for the narratologist Algiridas Julien Greimas. Ricoeur also explores the relationship between the philosophical and religious domains, attempting to reconcile the two poles in his thought. Readers who have struggled with Ricoeur's work will appreciate these illuminating discussions that provide an invaluable key to his writings on language and narrative, especially those on metaphor and time. Critique and Conviction is an essential book for anyone interested in philosophy and literacy criticism..

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Paul Ricoeur and the Hermeneutics of Suspicion: A Brief Overview and Critique

Essay by by G. D. Robinson.


Hermeneutics is both science and art. In many ways this beguilingly simple statement is responsible for the modern ferment in hermeneutics - a process begun with F. Schleiermacher (1768-1834) and his attempt to gain meaning through understanding the mind of the author; given significant impetus more recently in the seminal work of Hans-Georg Gadamer and his call for a dialectic between the horizons of the text and reader; and radicalized in the increasingly reader-response oriented hermeneutics of today.

The French philosopher, Paul Ricoeur, while essentially operating from within the reader oriented end of the spectrum, is uncomfortable with the intrinsic subjectivity associated with such hermeneutics and seeks to walk the fine line between a call for objectivity (grounded in some way in the text), and yet at the same time seeking to remain "open" to what the text may have to say. Ricoeur's hermeneutic of suspicion represents his attempt to retain both science and art, whilst disallowing either an absolute status; "Hermeneutics seems to me to be animated by this double motivation: willingness to suspect, willingness to listen; vow of rigor, vow of obedience."[2] Distilling the essence of Ricouer's hermeneutics here stated, A. Thisleton notes that:

The first addresses the task of 'doing away with idols,' namely, becoming critically aware of when we project our own wishes and constructs into texts, so that they no longer address us from beyond ourselves as "other." The second concerns the need to listen in openness to symbol and to narrative and thereby to allow creative events to occur "in front of" the text, and to have their effect on us...


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