The Philosophy of Paul Ricoeur

The Philosophy of Paul Ricoeur

The Philosophy of Paul Ricoeur

The Philosophy of Paul Ricoeur

Synopsis

"Paul Ricoeur, widely regarded as the foremost living phenomenologist, has helped to make the term hermeneutics a household word. His writings cover a wide range of topics, from the history of philosophy, literary criticism, and aesthetics, to metaphysics, ethics, religion, semiotics, linguistic structuralism, and psychoanalysis. Ricoeur's most important works, including Freedom and Nature, Freud and Philosophy, The Conflict of Interpretations, Time and Narrative, The Symbolism of Evil, and Oneself as Another, have attracted enthusiastic readers from many disciplines and from every major cultural milieu across the surface of the globe." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

Founded in 1938 by Professor Paul Arthur Schilpp and edited by him until July 1981, when the present writer became editor, the Library of Living Philosophers is devoted to critical analysis and discussion of some of the world's greatest living philosophers. The format for the series provides for setting up in each volume a dialogue between the critics and the great philosopher. The aim is not refutation or confrontation but rather fruitful joining of issues and improved understanding of the positions and issues involved. That is, the goal is not overcoming those who differ from us philosophically but interacting creatively with them.

The basic idea for the series, according to Professor Schilpp's general introduction to each of the earlier volumes, came from the late F. C.S. Schiller , who declared in his essay on Must Philosophers Disagree? (in Must Philosophers Disagree? London: Macmillan, 1934) that the greatest obstacle to fruitful discussion in philosophy is "the curious etiquette which apparently taboos the asking of questions about a philosopher's meaning while he is alive." The "interminable controversies which fill the histories of philosophy," in Schiller's opinion, "could have been ended at once by asking the living philosophers a few searching questions." And while he may have been overly optimistic about ending "interminable controversies" in this way, it seems clear that directing searching questions to great philosophers about what they really mean or how they think certain difficulties in their philosophy can be resolved while they are still alive can produce far greater clarity of understanding and more fruitful philosophizing than might otherwise be had.

And to Paul Arthur Schilpp's undying credit, he acted on this basic thought in launching in 1938 the Library of Living Philosophers. It is planned that each volume in the Library of Living Philosophers include preferably an intellectual autobiography by the principal philosopher or an authorized biography of that thinker's publications, a series of expository and critical essays written by leading exponents and opponents of the philosopher's thought, and the philosopher's replies to the interpretations and queries in these articles. The intellectual autobiographies . . .

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