Paul Ricoeur

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Paul Ricoeur


Paul Ricoeur is widely recognized as one of the most distinguished philosophers of the 20th century. He taught in both France and the United States.


Paul Ricoeur was a French philosopher best known for his preoccupation with the hermeneutic of the self. Ricoeur was captured during World War II and used his five years in captivity working out his philosophic ideas. He taught and lectured in France through 1956 and then in the U.S. His most widely read works are The Rule of Metaphor, From Text to Action and Oneself as Another.


Philosopher and theologian, born in Valence, SE France. A pupil of Gabriel Marcel, he studied at the University of Paris, and became professor at Strasbourg (1948–56), Paris-Nanterre (1956–70), and Chicago (1970). Influenced by Heidegger, Jaspers, and Husserl, his wide-ranging works cover topics such as the essence of language, individual action and will, and freedom and evil. He was an influential figure in French and Anglo–American philosophy, engaging critically with various contemporary methodologies – structuralism, phenomenology, psychoanalysis, and hermeneutics – across a whole range of problems. His publications include Philosophie de la volonté (3 vols, 1950–60, Philosophy of the Will) and La Métaphore vive (1975, The Living Metaphor), Temps et récit (1983–5), and Soi-mme comme autre (1990). In 2000 he published his last major work, La Mémoire, l'histoire, l'oubli (Memory, History and Forgetting).

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