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The articulation of phenomenology and hermeneutics in Paul Ricoeur

Vol. 14 (1)

Edited by

Marc-Antoine Vallée, Paul Marinescu

Official Call for Paper:

Deadline: Wednesday 15th March 2023

It is clear to all readers of Ricoeur that phenomenology and hermeneutics take center stage in his work, and several of his commentators have obviously taken a close interest in these aspects. However, despite this scholarly attention, the question of their articulation is far from definitively closed. On the contrary, due to its complexity, its multiple facets, and its evolution throughout Ricoeur’s work, there is still much to be said about this articulation, which for Ricoeur is both an area of reflection and an approach or method applied to various phenomena. For this reason, we are calling for articles devoted to this specific articulation between phenomenology and hermeneutics, that address both the way Ricoeur understands this articulation and the way he applies and puts it into practice in his various works. When trying to understand how Ricoeur articulated phenomenology and hermeneutics in his work, two key terms can serve as guideposts: heresy and detour. With regard to the first, Ricoeur’s brief assertion—made in the 1950s, reiterated by him in different contexts and discussed at length by scholars—has become the indispensable reference: “in a broad sense, phenomenology,” he maintains, “is both the sum of Husserl’s work and the heresies issuing from it”. This seminal statement invites us to explore “lateral derivations” in Husserl’s phenomenology—i.e., the paths that were opened but later on abandoned—rather than the hard core of the later transcendental idealism. Shifting the focus from Husserl’s ambitions of providing a prima philosophia to understanding phenomenology as a descriptive method opening onto things themselves, revealed a whole new field of research. It then became Ricoeur’s task, via various preliminary theoretical adjustments and recalibrations, to bring out the richness of a “heretical” articulation of the phenomenological method with hermeneutics. The reworkings brought about by “grafting” hermeneutics onto phenomenology find their most prominent expression in the detour, the second key term considered here. Whether willingly embraced or even sought after for its own sake, the “detour” sums up Ricoeur’s response to the movement of “deregionalization and radicalization” initiated by the ontological hermeneutics of Heidegger and Gadamer, notably through their shared view on understanding as an original way of being in the world. Whilst relying on the same foundations, Ricoeur instead prefers to give this movement a reflexive and critical turn by keeping understanding and interpretation, ontological perspective and epistemological dimension, mode of being and mode of knowledge, articulated to one another. This approach aims to take a necessary distance from certain presuppositions of the Husserlian phenomenology: indeed, instead of counting on the “immediacy, transparency and apodicticity” of the Cartesian cogito, hermeneutics takes the long path and dwells on the historical figures of embodied subjects immersed into an already interpreted linguistic universe. In the light of these heresies and detours, we invite the contributors to this issue to deepen the question of the articulation of phenomenology and hermeneutics in Ricoeur’s work, as well as to bring out the vivid possibilities that it harbors: 1/ by revisiting the loci classici of hermeneutic phenomenology, taken as outstanding examples of a prolific dialectic between explanation and understanding: the symbol with its double or multiple meaning, the conflict of interpretations, the semantic innovation, the world of the text, the surplus of referentiality, the narrative identity of the self, the standing-for, etc.; 2/ by re-examining the sinuous path of hermeneutic phenomenology within Ricoeur’s own thought, with all its more or less circumscribed expressions, from the proto-form of Ricœurian hermeneutics, which is the concrete reflection, through the hermeneutics of the historical condition built on the foundation of a phenomenology of memory, to the phenomenology of the capable human; 3/ by questioning the fruitfulness of Ricoeur’s hermeneutical phenomenology, in its critical and reflexive inflexions, along its application to different fields. For example, how can it enter into dialogue with non-philosophical sources (art, literature, religion, etc.) or be applied in an innovative way to ethical, social and political questions? 4/ by situating the place that Ricoeur’s hermeneutic phenomenology holds in the history of contemporary philosophy, either through: a) questioning the origins and traditions of thought from which Ricoeur draws inspiration (French reflexive philosophy, Protestant theological hermeneutics, Diltheyan hermeneutics, Heidegger’s existential analytics, Gadamer’s hermeneutics, analytic philosophy), but also from which he distances himself in certain ways; or b) comparative approaches with other works claiming the same sources, but which nonetheless take distinct or even critical directions in relation to those opened up by Ricoeur (e.g., Derrida, Taylor, Marion, Romano, and others). Closing date for the submission of texts: 15th of march 2023 Maximum number of characters (including spaces and notes): 50,000. Articles can be written either in English or in French. Format and style: The journal follows the Chicago Manual of Style. See the rubric ‘Author Guidelines’ on the journal’s website: http://ricoeur.pitt.edu/ojs/index.php/ricoeur/about/submissions#onlineSubmissions The editors cannot consider articles that do not follow these guidelines. Instructions to authors: In order to submit an article, authors need to register on the journal website: http://ricoeur.pitt.edu/ojs/index.php/ricoeur/user/register. There is a quick, five-step procedure to upload articles to the website. As soon as articles are uploaded, authors will receive a confirmation email. All articles will be peer-reviewed by two referees in a ‘double blind’ process. Guest Editors: Paul Marinescu and Marc-Antoine Vallée Ernst Wolff and Jean-Luc Amalric, co-editorial directors Études Ricœuriennes/Ricœur Studies Journal http://Ricoeur.pitt.edu
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