International Philosophical Quarterly 45 (1):61-86 (2005)
Despite his enormous bibliography of written works, Ricoeur has never devoted an entire tome to either moral philosophy or ethics per se. Three chapters of one work, Oneself as Another, do, however, encompass what he calls summarily his “little ethics.” To understand Ricoeur’s ethical project, it is important to see its genesis in his earlier anthropological studies and to follow its evolving nature into a hermeneutical poetics. Ricoeur’s ethical orientation is teleological. He makes a strong distinction between ethics and morality, with ethics being comprised of three inseparable components: the “good life,” the other, and justice. The essential hermeneutical nature of his ethics becomes fully apparent in his discussion of practical wisdom
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