Review of Metaphysics 27 (2):392-392 (1973)

As Ihde points out, he has undertaken the perilous task of writing a book about a philosopher who is still actively at work and developing his thought. Yet he has succeeded in providing the reader with an access to Ricoeur’s work which makes it plain to those who are not familiar with Ricoeur why he has achieved such prominence. After an illuminating introduction, Ihde devotes the opening chapters of his book to Ricoeur’s "structural phenomenology," a more or less orthodox Husserlian employment of the phenomenological method. This is exemplified by Ricoeur’s "eidetic" analysis of the will in Freedom and Nature and in a modified way in Fallible Man. Ihde then passes on to Ricoeur’s later "hermeneutic phenomenology," a phenomenology of interpretation which is to be found in his analysis of myth and symbol in The Symbolism of Evil. The growing interest in hermeneutics explains Ricoeur’s concern with the problem of language, which is Ricoeur’s current line of interest. The study translated under the title Freud and Philosophy is discussed in this context. There is much to recommend Ricoeur to the English reader, not the least of which is his open admission of the limits of the phenomenological method and his attempt to complement it with the "objectivistic" approaches, and particularly in recent years with linguistic analysis and the various linguistic sciences. For Ricoeur, no one philosophical method is exclusively valid; the true method is a dialectic between various and even opposed methods. There is an extensive bibliography of Ricoeur’s works and a helpful index of names and topics.—J.D.C.
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0034-6632
DOI revmetaph1973272259
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