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Hermeneutics: Writings and Lectures

ISBN: 978-0-7456-6121-6
240 pages
February 2013, Polity
Hermeneutics: Writings and Lectures (0745661211) cover image


Paul Ricoeur’s contribution to the theory of interpretation, or hermeneutics, is considerable: he ranks among the masters of this discipline alongside Schleiermacher, Dilthey, Heidegger and Gadamer. In addition to major works like The Conflict of Interpretations, he wrote many articles and shorter texts which deserve to be discovered and rediscovered. These allow us to gain a deeper understanding of the development of his work over time and to appreciate the full range of his contribution. Some of the texts examine the nature of metaphor while others guide the reader through the many challenges of the hermeneutic problem - from the symbol to the text, then to the text as action, taking full account of the ethical implications. Here one encounters Ricoeur’s reflections on the future of hermeneutics and his abiding concern to explore the relations between hermeneutics and analytical philosophy. 

Ricoeur’s contribution to biblical hermeneutics has also been decisive. Two masterful studies in this volume attest to Ricoeur’s attempt to explore the relations between revelation and truth, on the one hand, and between myths of salvation and reason, on the other.

This book - the second volume of Ricoeur’s writings and lectures - brings together texts which appeared between 1972 and 2006. It is published under the auspices of Le Fonds Ricoeur.
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Table of Contents



The Problem of Hermeneutics

1 Hermeneutics and Symbolism

2 Hermeneutics and the World of the Text

3 The Semantics of Action and of the Agent

4 Ethical Implications of the Theory of Action

Metaphor and the Central Problem of Hermeneutics

“Hermeneutic Logic”?

Hermeneutics of the Idea of Revelation

Salvation Myths and Contemporary Reason

Origin of the Texts


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Author Information

Paul Ricoeur (1913-2005) is widely recognized as one of the most distinguished philosophers of the twentieth century. He taught for many years at the University of Chicago. His many works include Freud and Philosophy, Time and Narrative and Oneself as Another.
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"Precisely what teachers need to bring Ricoeur's thought into their courses. Due to its accessibility and breadth, I can easily see this becoming the go-to volume for courses that include Ricoeur."
Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews
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