Between Philosophical Anthropology and Phenomenology: on Paul Ricoeur’s Philosophy of Work

Revue Internationale de Philosophie 2 (278):513-534 (2016)

Nicholas H Smith
University of Connecticut
The paper is a critical analysis of Paul Ricoeur’s philosophy of work as it is formulated in a number of essays from the 1950s and 60s. It begins with a reconstruction of the central theses advanced in ‘Travail et parole’ (1953) and related texts, where Ricoeur sought to outline a philosophical anthropology in which work is given its due. To give work its due, from an anthropological standpoint, is to see it as limited by counter-concept of language, according to Ricoeur. The paper then argues that this way of understanding the anthropological significance of work is not only internally problematic, but at odds with phenomenological insights to be found elsewhere in Ricoeur’s oeuvre, particularly Le Volontaire et l’involontaire (1950). The final section of the paper makes some suggestions for how the phenomenological and anthropological poles of a philosophy of work might be better integrated, and the ‘nexus between speech and work’ better described.
Keywords Ricoeur  philosophical anthropology  phenomenology  work
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 70,008
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Work of Ricoeur.Rosa Maria Filippozzi Martini - 2018 - Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy 28:43-47.
Paul Ricoeur a Cent'anni Dalla Nascita.Oreste Aime - 2012 - Annuario Filosofico 28:52-76.
Thinking Time: Ricoeur’s Husserl in Time and Narrative.Jane Chamberlain - 2002 - Journal of Philosophical Research 27:281-299.
Thinking Time: Ricoeur’s Husserl in Time and Narrative.Jane Chamberlain - 2002 - Journal of Philosophical Research 27:281-299.
La Via Dell'ermeneutica Critica.Vinicio Busacchi - 2020 - Discipline filosofiche. 30 (2):43-54.
Form and Figure: Paul Ricoeur and the Rehabilitation of Human Work.Todd S. Mei - 2006 - Journal of French and Francophone Philosophy 16 (1-2):57-70.
Philosophical Anthropology Against Objectification. Reconsidering Ricoeur’s Fallible Man.Petruschka Schaafsma - 2014 - International Journal of Philosophy and Theology 75 (2):152-168.


Added to PP index

Total views

Recent downloads (6 months)

How can I increase my downloads?


Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.

My notes