Paul Ricœur, with Rawls, Walzer, and Habermas as some of his main interlocuters, has developed a substantial and distinctive body of political thought. On the one hand, it articulates a rich conception of the paradoxical character of the domain of politics. On the other, it provides a fresh approach to such major topics as the relationship among politics, economics, and ethics and between concern for universal human rights and respect for cultural plurality. His work, rooted as it is in Aristotle, (...) Kant, and Hegel, also provides resources for a fruitful rethinking of the issues at stake in the liberal-communitarian debate. (shrink)
It is common today to find in philosophical and scientific works the idea of agent causation dismissed as unintelligible. This article is meant to challenge that view. It argues that the conception of agent causation that Paul Ricoeur has defended is by no means unintelligible. Indeed there are compelling, even if not definitive, reasons for acknowledging the existence of such causation. The point of departure for this argument is Ricoeur’s reflection on the discursive character of human existence. To make my (...) case, I focus on the discursive practice of offering and receiving recommendations. This sort of practice is integral to important areas of human activity, including scientific activity. Though it is often overlooked, agent causation is a necessary precondition for the intelligibility of this practice. I acknowledge that just how agent causation comes to be in the course of the biological evolution of human beings is ontologically enigmatic. Nonetheless, the evidence in its favor is not only intelligible but is too robust to be dismissed merely on the grounds that it is ontologically ‘inconvenient’. (shrink)
Today, research in the human sciences must investigate both (a) what are the theoretical considerations appropriate to good writing and reading of texts, and (b) how well do any of the contemporary -grand theorists- handle the problems posed by particular texts. The essays in this volume, written by experts in law, literature, philosophy, and religion, explore these issues through analyses of texts of major import in their respective disciplines. Taken together, the essays make no pretense to have settled any theoretical (...) matters. But they do show both that theory is of major importance for proper reading of texts and that the plethora of kinds of texts make theorizing a difficult, risky, even if exhilarating, enterprise. They also show the importance of further studies like them.". (shrink)
In this essay, I will not challenge these observations, which I consider well-founded. Rather, I will claim that the works of Heidegger and of another careful student of Husserl, Merleau-Ponty, even if they have not provided an adequate politics, have substantially renovated the problem of politics. They have done so in two ways. First, they have destroyed, in Heidegger’s sense, the metaphysical base which has dominated political thought since Plato. Second, they have provided insights into and clues pointing toward elements (...) which any defensible politics must embody. In so doing they show a way to retrieve and renovate what is sound in the political thought which developed under the sway of metaphysics. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that moral and institutional evils, even though they are all contingent, are so pervasive and persistent that there is no practical way of responding to them that would lead eventually to the eradication of all of them. Instead, our practical task is to respond to these evils in ways that respect both the basic capabilities and their associated vulnerabilities that are constitutive of each human being. To do this most effectively, one should offer unconditional forgiveness (...) to the perpetrators of evil. The attitude that can best underpin this forgiveness is one of a properly understood indefeasible hope, a hope that always insists that each person is of greater worth than whatever he or she does. (shrink)
Emad's announced purpose in this study is "to determine the implications which Heidegger's value-criticism has for Scheler's phenomenology of values." The results of this investigation can then be extended to the general problem of values and value theories as it is manifested in our time. This aim leads Emad to consider the concept of value both in Nietzsche's thought and in Neo-Kantianism, especially as presented by Lotze, Rickert, and Windelband.
Paul Ricoeur's account of the human capacity for taking action stands in opposition in important respects to two other prominent views. One of these alternatives is exemplified in the position that John Rawls holds. A second alternative appears in some interpretations of the results of neuroscientific research. My aim in this paper is first to highlight a number of the salient feature of Ricoeur's account. Then I will briefly point to some of the challenges it presents to these two alternatives.
Elsewhere, I have given reasons both for the claim that silence is a positive, complex phenomenon and for the characterization of the phenomenon of silence which I will use here. Silence is an active human performance. But it cannot be an act of unmitigated autonomy. It involves a yielding following upon an awareness of finitude and awe. The yielding involved in silence is peculiar inasmuch as it is a yielding which binds and joins.
Reiner schurmann, Building on heidegger's thought, Has proposed a political philosophy which explicitly dispenses with questions concerning political organization. In this discussion, I point to the apparent practical necessity for restricted political coercion. This apparent necessity, I argue, Must either be shown to be illusory or must be taken to require questions concerning political organization. Since schurman has not as yet done either of these, Then his argument remains incomplete.
To clarify the sense of the complex positive phenomenon of silence, i engage in an intentional analysis of its occurrences. in making this analysis i use a method derived basically from husserl. through this method i establish that silence is 1) an active intentional performance necessary for the clarification of the sense of intersubjectivity, 2) an intentional performance which does not intend fully determinate objects, 3) that which interrupts the "and so forth" of a stream of performances which does intend (...) determinate objects of some sort, and 4) is a source of tension and oscillation among levels of expression and between the realms of expressive and non-expressive experience. (shrink)
AT LEAST from the time of Descartes, there has been a growing tendency to understand freedom in terms of autonomy. Autonomy is taken to be, if not the exhaustive characteristic and measure of freedom, at least its principal one. In this context, autonomy is held to consist in being ruled exclusively by norms formulated and prescribed by oneself.