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date: 07 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Paul Ricoeur belongs to the first generation of French phenomenology, and his principal contribution to the phenomenological tradition is to be found in his development of a hermeneutical phenomenology. Ricoeur’s work spans more than half a century and is shaped by his conviction that philosophy is first and foremost to create a dialogue between various fields of knowledge. He considers phenomenology a necessary, but not sufficient theory to make sense of human life. In fact, Ricoeur’s turn to hermeneutics in the beginning of his career is an attempt to make sense of the complexity of human identity. We experience ourselves are autonomous creatures, and yet we constantly find ourselves restricted by various kinds of heteronomous factors (e.g. biological, cultural, ethical). This dialectics of autonomy and passivity constitutive of human identity is at the core of Ricoeur’s hermeneutical phenomenology, and in particular of his influential theory of narrative identity.

Keywords: phenomenology, hermeneutics, hermeneutical phenomenology, dialectics, autonomy, passivity, narrative identity, dialogue

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