Ricoeur Dies

Paul Ricoeur, Christian philosopher, friend of Emmanuel Levinas, colleague of Jacques Derrida, is dead.

Sometime during the night of Thursday/Friday last week, Paul Ricoeur, an important twentieth-century philosopher and a devout Christian, died in his sleep at ninety-two. Here is a good obituary. Saturday’s issue of Le Monde had a couple of good obituaries and several articles about his thinking (for francophones; available on-line –use the search engine at Le Monde’s web site).

Some of Ricoeur’s principle works:

Karl Jaspers and the Philosophy of Existence
Freedom and Nature: The Voluntary and the Involuntary
History and Truth
Fallible Man
The Symbolism of Evil
Freud and Philosophy: An Essay on Interpretation
The Conflict of Interpretations
The Rule of Metaphor
Interpretation Theory: Discourse and the Surplus of Meaning
The Contribution of French Historiography to the Theory of History
Time and Narrative (3 vols)
The Religious Significance of Atheism
From Text to Action
Oneself as Another

with Andre LaCocque, Thinking Biblically
Lectures I: Autour du politique
Lectures II: La Contree des philosophes
Lectures III: Aux frontieres de la philosophie
The Just
Lectures on Ideology and Utopia
(a response to Levinas’s Otherwise than Being)
Memory History and Forgetting
Le Juste II

For an excellent selection of essays on the philosophy of religion, see Figuring the Sacred.

4 comments for “Ricoeur Dies

  1. Justin H
    May 23, 2005 at 2:08 pm

    Thanks for posting this, Prof. Faulconer. I have no pretentions to philosophy, but I very much enjoyed what I could understand of Soi même and Time and Narrative.

    When I heard on the radio this morning that he had passed, I was surprised to react more strongly than I might have expected. I think it’s because he’s one of the first theorists/philosophers I ever read, and the thought (at the time) that I was reading someone alive and working–and that he took his religion so to heart–was exciting.

    My condolences to his friends, family, and students.

  2. Keith
    May 23, 2005 at 7:43 pm


    Thanks for posting this, though I’m sad to hear it. He struck me, as did Levinas, as someone who did philosophy well, but also thought about and in the category of the religious.

    And with your list, don’t forget to add the little book “The Religious Significance of Athiesm”–an important and interesting work.

  3. Jim F
    May 23, 2005 at 9:54 pm

    Keith, thanks for the reminder. I don’t know why I didn’t include it. Old age, I suppose. In any case, you’re right. I think it is a very important essay.

  4. Jim F
    May 24, 2005 at 12:38 am

    I’ve added the book that Keith recommended to the list in the original post.

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