Between Description and Interpretation: The Hermeneutic Turn by Andrzej Wiercinski (ed.)

By Andrzej Wiercinski (ed.)

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Greenwood Press, 1986), chap. , Between Suspicion and Sympathy. 109 Ricoeur, Husserl, 221. , Between Suspicion and Sympathy. 113 There is nonetheless a kind of Ariadne’s thread running through it all, an underlying continuity in terms of both method and motivation. Methodologically speaking, Ricoeur’s basic concern, like that of other phenomenologists, has always been the reflexive-transcendental one of bringing our lived experience to the proper expression of its own meaning. ”114 Ricoeur’s philosophical motivation in this regard is his fundamental belief that our existence is indeed meaningful, and thus expressible (dicible) -- this belief in the expressibility or “sayability” (dicibilité) of experience corresponding to Gadamer’s thesis as to the linguality or “speakability” of the world (die Sprachlichkeit der Welt).

Just as Merleau-Ponty went further than Heidegger in the exploration of the bodily nature of our being-in-the-world, so likewise Ricoeur has gone further than Gadamer in dealing with methodological issues confronting the human sciences and in entering into a full-fledged debate with various human disciplines such as psychoanalysis, linguistics, historiography, and literary studies. ” (OI, 196) Although Ricoeur fully subscribed to the basic ontological concerns of Heidegger and Gadamer, he nonetheless felt that their preoccupation with fundamental ontology tended to hinder philosophical hermeneutics from entering into a productive dialogue with the more empirically oriented sciences.

CI, 18) For the phenomenological fact of the matter is that the consciousness of self is, proximally and for the most part, a distorted, false consciousness. ” (CI, 18) It is only in this painstaking way that what at the outset is a bare ego can become a genuine, human self. In attempting to effect a “qualitative transformation” of reflexive consciousness, Ricoeur insisted that there is no “originary” presence of the self to itself and that the notion of intuitive self-knowledge is an illusion (for Ricoeur, the truth of the Cogito -- “I think-I am” -- is a truth that is as empty as it is certain).

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