1st Edition

Paul Ricoeur’s Philosophical Anthropology as Hermeneutics of Liberation
Freedom, Justice, and the Power of Imagination




ISBN 9780367898786
Published November 10, 2020 by Routledge
208 Pages

USD $160.00

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Book Description

This book offers a unique account of the role imagination plays in advancing the course of freedom’s actualization. It draws on Paul Ricoeur’s philosophical anthropology of the capable human being as the staging ground for an extended inquiry into the challenges of making freedom a reality within the history of humankind.

This book locates the abilities we exercise as capable human beings at the heart of a sustained analysis and reflection on the place of the idea of justice in a hermeneutics for which every expectation regarding rights, liberties, and opportunities must be a hope for humanity as a whole. The vision of a reconciled humanity that for Ricoeur figures in a philosophy of the will provides an initial touchstone for a hermeneutics of liberation rooted in a philosophical anthropology for which the pathétique of human misery is its non- or pre-philosophical source. By setting the idea of the humanity in each of us against the backdrop of the necessity of preserving the tension between the space of our experiences and the horizons of our expectations, the book identifies the ethical and political dimensions of the idea of justice’s federating force with the imperative of respect.

Paul Ricoeur’s Philosophical Anthropology as Hermeneutics of Liberation will be of interest to scholars and advanced students working in hermeneutics, phenomenology, ethics, political theory, and aesthetics.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction 1
Aesthetic Experience and the Wager
of Imagination 2
The Poetics of the Will and a Philosophical
Anthropology of the Capable Human Being 6
Summary Outline 9

1 Philosophical Anthropology, Poetics,
and the Philosophy of the Will 15
Poetics and the Philosophy of the Will 16
Intermediacy, Fallibility, Fault 18
Finitude and Infinitude 23
Transcendental Reflection 25
Metaphor and Metaphysics 29

2 The Practical Synthesis: Character, Happiness,
and Respect 42
Practical Synthesis 43
Practical Finitude 45
Happiness 53
Respect 57

3 Affective Fragility, Vulnerability, and the Capable
Human Being 66
The Restless Heart 67
Reason and Happiness 70
Fragility and Fallibility: Having, Power, Worth 74
viii Contents

4 The Wager of Imagination 89
Ideology, Violence, and Power 90
An Eschatology of Nonviolence 94
Negative Dialectics and the Principle of Hope 97
The Temporalization of History 101
The Force of the Present and the Horizon of
the Process of Freedom’s Actualization 103

5 Singularity, Exemplarity, Universality 114
Aesthetic Experience 114
Mimesis and Truth 117
Singularity, Exemplarity, Communicability 121
Reason, Judgment, and Imagination 126

6 Toward a Hermeneutics of Liberation 136
The Idea of Humanity and the Aporia of the
Oneness of Time 137
Exemplarity and the Hermeneutics
of Testimony 142
The Imperative of Justice 149

7 Conclusions 160
Conviction and Belief 163
Is Freedom Possible? 168
Hospitality and Justice 173

Bibliography 185
Index 193

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Author(s)

Biography

Roger W. H. Savage is a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, specializing in hermeneutics, aesthetics, and politics. He is the author of Hermeneutics and Music Criticism and Music, Time, and Its Other: Aesthetic Reflections on Finitude, Temporality, and Alterity. He has also edited two books on the work of Paul Ricoeur: Paul Ricoeur in the Age of Hermeneutical Reason: Poetics, Praxis, and Critique and Paul Ricoeur and the Lived Body.