Paul Ricoeur and the Task of Political Philosophy

Overview

This book discusses the political philosophy of Paul Ricoeur. More precisely, it offers a sustained engagement with Ricoeur’s political thought in a way that demonstrates both the significance of the political in his own thinking throughout his career, and how Ricoeur’s understanding of the political offers something valuable to current discussions in political philosophy. A second goal is to begin to fill a gap in Ricoeur studies and situate his work on political ethics more fully in contemporary discussions ...

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Paul Ricoeur and the Task of Political Philosophy

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Overview

This book discusses the political philosophy of Paul Ricoeur. More precisely, it offers a sustained engagement with Ricoeur’s political thought in a way that demonstrates both the significance of the political in his own thinking throughout his career, and how Ricoeur’s understanding of the political offers something valuable to current discussions in political philosophy. A second goal is to begin to fill a gap in Ricoeur studies and situate his work on political ethics more fully in contemporary discussions about political thought. In this way, Ricoeur can be seen as a figure pertinent to recent trends in political philosophy that make political thinking more realistic to the conditions for political life. The various essays in the book move along intersecting but different trajectories. First, as some of these essays attest, the concept of the political is a pervasive theme that runs throughout Ricoeur’s corpus. In this way a theme throughout the book examines this notion of the political, as well as how it relates to his more well-known work in other areas. Second, and related, the historical understanding of perennial issues in political philosophy are most often updated by those standing in the lineage of those who have come before. As such, Ricoeur’s hermeneutical orientation has moved him to engage contemporaries who attempt to “think forward” in various ways this tradition for current situations. Unlike most who engage in political thought, Ricoeur goes where others dare not, namely, to those who appear to be opponents but, as he shows, offer perspectives worth more consideration in the name of the best of political thinking. In this light, Ricoeur’s hermeneutical orientation is again a unique framework for understanding the nature of political engagement, an orientation in what follows that highlights the ways that Ricoeur and a Ricoeurian perspective cross philosophical orientations to develop a unique understanding of political thought that is different.

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Editorial Reviews

Clifford G. Christians
These essays highlight the potential of this philosophy to take up today’s political questions, as well as with long-standing political questions which characterize political thought. Commenting dialogs between Ricœur and Kant, H. Arendt, and Agamben and Honneth show philosophical dialog as a method which enables us to think better. Therefore, it is not surprising that Ricœur is used throughout these pages to analyze contemporary stakes, such as capitalism or post-colonialism, nor to discover, beyond the diversity of the topics, that we might find in their unity the political importance of recognition.
CHOICE
Inaugurating the new "Series on Thought of Paul Ricoeur," this excellent edited collection explores aspects of the renowned thinker's political philosophy. Bringing together both the efforts of established scholars and newer ones, editors Johnson and Stiver sculpt an expansive work that systematically applies Ricoeur's interdisciplinary ideas to some of the most pressing issues in contemporary politics. Among the topics probed are citizenship, justice, recognition, judgment, violence, hope, legitimacy, and forgiveness. A piece by Ricoeur himself examines the nexus between the moral, the ethical, and the political. In combination with a biographical sketch that maps the contours of the subject's life and late reflections, it rounds out the volume. Also noteworthy is the introduction, which usefully contextualizes Ricoeur, summarizes the contributions, and highlights the dialogical nature of a voluminous oeuvre that evolved over a 70-year period. From another angle, the volume is a fitting companion to the recently published From Ricoeur to Action, edited by T. S. Mei and D. Lewin (CH, Apr'13, 50-4367)—a thematic collection that surveys the sociopolitical significance of Ricoeur's thinking. If this is a representative sample of what is to come, Ricoeur devotees have much to be thankful for. Summing Up: Highly recommended.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Greg S. Johnson is professor of philosophy at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA (USA). He is the author of Elements of the Utopian (2011), and, along with Dan Stiver a founding co-editor of the “Series on the Thought of Paul Ricoeur” (Lexington Books).

Dan Stiver is the Cook-Derrick Professor of Theology in the Logsdon School of Theology of Hardin-Simmons University. His publications include The Philosophy of Religious Language: Sign, Symbol, and Story (Blackwell, 1996), Theology after Ricoeur: New Directions in Hermeneutical Theology (Westminster John Knox, 2001), Life Together in the Way of Jesus Christ: An Introduction to Christian Theology (Baylor, 2009), and Ricoeur and Theology (Continuum, forthcoming). He is currently President of the Society for Ricoeur Studies (2010-2012) and is co-editor with Greg Johnson of the Series on the Thought of Paul Ricoeur (Lexington Books).

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Chapter 1: The Moral, the Ethical, and the Political. Translated by Alison Scott-Baumann
Chapter 2: Paul Ricoeur: His Life and His Work the Last 15 Years
Chapter 3: Ricoeur on Citizenship: A Picture of Dries a Personalist Republicanism
Chapter 4: Looking for the Just
Chapter 5: Ricoeur Economicus: Can Economic Exchange Involve Mutual Recognition?
Chapter 6: The Capacity to Judge and the Contours of a Theory of Political Judgment
Chapter 7: The Gift and Mutual Recognition: Paul Ricoeur as a Reader of Marcel Hénaff
Chapter 8: The Guises of Violence: Paul Ricoeur and Giorgio Agamben on the Transition from Metaphor to Politics
Chapter 9: Recognition, Legitimization, and the Suggestion of Tacit Slave-Ideology Today: A Ricoeurian Investigation
Chapter 10: Developing Ricoeur’s Concept of Political Legitimacy
Chapter 11: Unconditional Forgiveness: A Defense
Chapter 12: Colonialist Ruinations and the Logic of Hope

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