Testimony and interpretation in the philosophy of P. Ricoeur





Testimony, Attestation, Ethical tension, Dialogue, Interpretation


This article aims to understand the reasons for the hermeneutics of testimony in P. Ricoeur. We try to show how this category, of an eminently ethical nature, is important in a reflection on the existence that does not start from the pure spontaneity of the cogito, but from the need for a mediate reflection on the human condition, that is, on its actions, decisions and ways of being in the world. There is no understanding for the philosopher that the subject may have of himself that is not mediated by signs, symbols and texts. Hence the ethical value of a hermeneutic recovery of the testimony, history, and treasure of the great symbols of the various cultures that have influenced us. It is the dialectic of the personal attestation of capacities in the exercise of witness and the hermeneutic and even metaphorical dimension of it that preserve the historical and ethical scope of memory. She keeps also openness to what has historically been left to be done and remains open at the level of the desirable ethical absolute.


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