This book discusses the political philosophy of Paul Ricoeur. More precisely, it offers a sustained engagement with Ricoeur’s political thought in a way that demonstrates both the significance of the political in his own thinking throughout his career, and how Ricoeur’s understanding of the political offers something valuable to current discussions in political philosophy. A second goal is to begin to fill a gap in Ricoeur studies and situate his work on political ethics more fully in contemporary discussions about political thought. In this way, Ricoeur can be seen as a figure pertinent to recent trends in political philosophy that make political thinking more realistic to the conditions for political life. The various essays in the book move along intersecting but different trajectories. First, as some of these essays attest, the concept of the political is a pervasive theme that runs throughout Ricoeur’s corpus. In this way a theme throughout the book examines this notion of the political, as well as how it relates to his more well-known work in other areas. Second, and related, the historical understanding of perennial issues in political philosophy are most often updated by those standing in the lineage of those who have come before. As such, Ricoeur’s hermeneutical orientation has moved him to engage contemporaries who attempt to “think forward” in various ways this tradition for current situations. Unlike most who engage in political thought, Ricoeur goes where others dare not, namely, to those who appear to be opponents but, as he shows, offer perspectives worth more consideration in the name of the best of political thinking. In this light, Ricoeur’s hermeneutical orientation is again a unique framework for understanding the nature of political engagement, an orientation in what follows that highlights the ways that Ricoeur and a Ricoeurian perspective cross philosophical orientations to develop a unique understanding of political thought that is different.
Lexington Books; October 2012
- ISBN 9780739167748
- Read online, or download in secure PDF or secure EPUB format
- Title: Paul Ricoeur and the Task of Political Philosophy
- Author: Greg S. Johnson (ed.); Dan R. Stiver (ed.)
Imprint: Lexington Books
In The Press
These essays highlight the potential of this philosophy to take up today’s political questions, as well as with long-standing political questions which characterize political thought. Commenting dialogs between Ricœur and Kant, H. Arendt, and Agamben and Honneth show philosophical dialog as a method which enables us to think better. Therefore, it is not surprising that Ricœur is used throughout these pages to analyze contemporary stakes, such as capitalism or post-colonialism, nor to discover, beyond the diversity of the topics, that we might find in their unity the political importance of recognition.
About The Author
Greg S. Johnson is professor of philosophy at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA (USA). He is the author of Elements of the Utopian (2011), and, along with Dan Stiver a founding co-editor of the “Series on the Thought of Paul Ricoeur” (Lexington Books).
Dan Stiver is the Cook-Derrick Professor of Theology in the Logsdon School of Theology of Hardin-Simmons University. His publications include The Philosophy of Religious Language: Sign, Symbol, and Story (Blackwell, 1996), Theology after Ricoeur: New Directions in Hermeneutical Theology (Westminster John Knox, 2001), Life Together in the Way of Jesus Christ: An Introduction to Christian Theology (Baylor, 2009), and Ricoeur and Theology (Continuum, forthcoming). He is currently President of the Society for Ricoeur Studies (2010-2012) and is co-editor with Greg Johnson of the Series on the Thought of Paul Ricoeur (Lexington Books).