Politics, Economy, and SocietyWritings and Lectures
Politics, Economy, and Society
Writings and Lectures
Translated by Kathleen Blamey

The philosophy of Paul Ricoeur is rarely viewed through the lens of political philosophy, and yet questions of power, and of how to live together in the <i>polis</i>, were a constant preoccupation of his writings. This volume brings together a selection of his texts spanning six decades, from 1958 to 2003, which together present Ricoeur’s political project in its coherence and diversity.

In Ricoeur’s view, the political is the realm of a tension between “rationality” (the attempt to provide a coherent explanation of the world) and “irrationality,” which manifests itself in force and repression. This “political paradox” lies at the heart of politics, for the claim to explain the world generates its own form of violence: the more one desires the good, the more one is inclined to impose it. Ricoeur warns citizens, the guardians of democracy, against any totalizing system of thought and any dogmatic understanding of history. Power should be divided and controlled, and Ricoeur defends a form of political liberalism in which states are conscious of the limits of their power and respectful of the freedom of their citizens.

Ranging from questions of power and repression to those of ethics, identity, and responsibility, these little-known political texts by one of the leading philosophers of the twentieth century will be of interest to students and scholars of philosophy, politics, and theology and to anyone concerned with the great political questions of our time.

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  • September 2021
  • 280 pages
  • 152 x 229 mm / 6 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $69.95
  • 9781509543861
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  • 9781509543878
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  • 9781509543885
Table of Contents
Editor’s Preface

Note on the French Edition

I. Theological-Political Prologue

Chapter 1. The Adventures of the State and the Task of Christians

Chapter 2. From Marxism to Contemporary Communism

Chapter 3. Socialism Today

II. The Paradoxes of the Political

Chapter 4. Hegel Today

Chapter 5. Morality, Ethics, and Politics

Chapter 6. Responsibility and Fragility

Chapter 7. The Paradoxes of Authority

Chapter 8. Happiness, Out of Place

III. Politics, Economy, and Societies

Chapter 9. Is Crisis a Phenomenon Specific to Modernity?

Chapter 10. Money: From One Suspicion to the Next

Chapter 11. The Erosion of Tolerance and the Resistance of the Intolerable

Chapter 12. The Condition of the Foreigner

Chapter 13. Fragile Identity: Respect for the Other and Cultural Identity

IV. Europe

Chapter 14. What new Ethos for Europe?

Chapter 15. The Dialogue of Cultures, the Confrontation of Heritages

Chapter 16. The Crisis of Historical Consciousness and Europe

V. Epilogue

Chapter 17. The Struggle for Recognition and the Economy of the Gift

Origin of the Texts


About the Author
Paul Ricoeur (1913–2005) is widely recognized as one of the most distinguished philosophers of the twentieth century. He was Professor of Philosophy at the Universities of Strasbourg and Paris and he taught for many years at the University of Chicago. His many works include Freud and PhilosophyTime and Narrative, and Oneself as Another.
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