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Oneself as Another Paperback – January 1, 1995

ISBN-13: 978-0226713298 ISBN-10: 0226713296 Edition: Reissue
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Probing to the heart of selfhood, Ricoeur finds otherness. In this eminent thinker's theory of personhood, the self is a character-narrator of its own history, its autonomy intimately bound up with solicitude for one's neighbors and with justice for each individual. Professor emeritus at the University of Chicago, Ricoeur reads life histories as literary narratives and attempts to show how practical wisdom should flow from our intuitive moral judgments of what the good life might be like. His ethics of reciprocity and caring draws freely on the whole of Western philosophy, from Plato, Aristotle and Greek tragedy to Heidegger, language theory and John Rawls. An exciting work for specialists and advanced students, this dense, difficult treatise, which cuts across philosophy, semantics, literary theory and social science, will daunt the general reader.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

The central theme here is the concept of personal identity, within which Ricoeur examines three major issues: the idea of self, of identity or sameness, and of relation to that which is not self. His intention is no less than a hermeneutics of the self, and toward this end he accomplishes much. This is not reading for the philosophical novice, but those familiar with Ricoeur's writings, or those who have a thorough understanding of the concepts employed here, will find this a rich and rewarding book. Based on Ricoeur's 1986 Gifford Lectures, this is recommended for academic libraries with comprehensive programs in philosophy.
- Terry Skeats, Bishop's Univ. Lib., Lennoxville, Quebec
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 374 pages
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press; Reissue edition (January 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226713296
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226713298
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #499,210 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Charles W. Murry on March 10, 2010
Format: Paperback
Without a doubt, Paul Ricoeur's "Oneself as Another" is dense and indicative of Ricoeur's expansive familiarity with myriad philosophical trajectories and traditions, from Ordinary Language Philosophy to Phenomenology to Deconstructionism, to name a few. It is this philosophical fluency, which allows Ricoeur to articulate an extensive philosophy of the self, an inquiry into the nature of the identity of the human person. Given the sections to which my inquiry is primarily confined (Studies 5-7), it goes without saying that such a review as my own can hardly do justice to this particular other, who is Ricoeur, or to the extent of his philosophy of self. I will, however, attempt to draw out what I view as essential to these sections, which necessarily presuppose that which leads up to the current issues and anticipates future ones.

The project that Ricoeur engages in is an arduous one, though it is taken for granted in everyday language. The "I" of the person in common parlance asserts itself as one who is--an ontological and unambiguous reality as real and as given as the air that "I" breaths. Ricoeur's desire is to transcend the hegemony of "I," however, and to articulate a philosophy of self where the "I" is neither the first principle, but nor is it simply another "separate further fact." In other words, Ricoeur seeks to develop a conceptualization of selfhood that is neither the conventional exalted ego identified by Descartes, nor one which is the utterly humiliated and reduced self of deconstructionist philosophy.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lazy reviewer on November 22, 2010
Format: Paperback
Ricoeur takes up the question of self-identity in this book, and probes the relationship of sameness or personal stability to selfhood or reflexive self-narration. It extends the ideas of his earlier work, especially _Time and Narrative_. Ricoeur habitually works within the traditions of phenomenology and hermeneutics, and in this book [as in many others] is occupied in doing critique of the analytic writers on action, of Kant, and of phenomenology. He generates a stance that can uncover aporias rivaling [and as far as I know, deeper than] those found by post-structuralists, while holding that the subject is not just a discursive effect and is more profoundly ethical. His critical foci seem oddly chosen, since the more obvious scholars for critique would be Heidegger and Levinas, neither of whom is really central to his argument. Perhaps he was influenced by the fact that this book is an elaboration on the Edinburgh Lectures, which might naturally focus on analytic philosophy, and perhaps he is trying, as usual, to find grounds for mediating rival traditions and retaining what is valuable in each.

Ricoeur is worth study because of his conscientious and constructive critiques. His turns of thought are persuasive, impressive, and valuable even to readers who are not professional philosophers of any stripe [such as myself]. The book is difficult but pretty accessible.
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“SELFHOOD” has a multi-layered identity consisting of: “trait-sign-model”; motivational-base-of-attestation”; “disposition”; “phronetic-stance-of-loyalty”; & “universal-narrative-work-space”. All of these layers are discussed in detail by Ricoeur; and often, with corresponding Greek concepts.

This “multi-layered-self” has as its task: the “emplotment-of-praxis-positing”. Every aspect of this “intentionality” also gets fully addressed by Ricoeur. It has its own series of: “narrative-reference”; “evaluating-historical-possibilities”; “evaluation-of-attestation”; “dianoia-of-disposition”; & then “configured-emplotment”

This “multi-layered-emplotment” has an internal inertia of “REFLEX”. It constitutes a “folding-back” upon the “multi-layered-self” with a “multi-layered-attribution”; which could be any of the following: esteem; disteem; contingency-qualifications; & “competing-posited-projects”

In other words, this undertaking was “massive”. So do not expect easy reading or easy appropriation of his ideas. Instead, expect engagement with the text, a little additional vocabulary work; and then, ultimately; a feeling of “accomplishment”, for having gone down this road with Ricoeur. Dig in and enjoy the rewarding struggle. 5 stars for this profound thinker.
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