Ricœur Studies Journal


Études Ricoeuriennes/ Ricoeur Studies (ERRS)


is an electronic, open access, peer-reviewed academic journal devoted to the study of the work of Paul Ricoeur. The journal was founded in 2010 by Scott Davidson, Johann Michel and George Taylor. ERRS is interdisciplinary in scope and seeks to continue Ricoeur's own dialogue across the disciplines (law, political science, sociology, anthropology, history, to name only a few). ERRS invites critical appraisals and constructive extensions of Ricoeur's vast oeuvre. ERRS also welcomes original contributions from the intellectual traditions (hermeneutics, phenomenology, structuralism, analytic philosophy ...) and themes (memory, history, justice, recognition ...) that Ricoeur engaged in his work.


Editorial Direction: Prof. Eileen Brennan and Prof. Jean-Luc Amalric

Editorial Secretary: Azadeh Thiriez-Arjangi



Latest issue


Etudes Ricœurienne/ Ricœur Studies has just published its latest issue Volume 9, No 1 (2018)

Editors: Stephanie Arel and Azadeh Thiriez-Arjangi


Volume 9, No 1 (2018): Rethinking Ideology and Utopia: 30 Years Later. Here



Call for papers


Volume 8, No 2 (2018): Affectivity, initiative, fragility and vulnerability in Ricœur’s philosophical anthropology


Guest editors: Beatriz Contreras Tasso et Patricio Mena Malet


Contributors are invited to submit an article for issue number 10 of Etudes Ricœuriennes / Ricœur Studies, which is devoted to questions of affectivity, initiative, fragility, and vulnerability in Ricœur's philosophical anthropology.

These days, a retrospective look at Ricœur’s philosophical anthropological journey allows us to recognize the importance of the issue of affectivity in his early works. The philosophical rehabilitation of affectivity carried out by Ricœur as far back as "Freedom and Nature" and "Fallible Man" leads us to the central ontological problem of human fragility and the human capacity for initiative. The path from "I can" to "I do" already involves a certain tension between the fragile human being and the responsible human being, which Ricœur’s ethics of solicitude and human vulnerability will explore in the 1990s. These are precisely the essential contributions that an analysis of the ontological and anthropological functions of affectivity makes to the Ricœurian theorization of ethics, which this issue aims to identify.

In "Freedom and Nature", Ricœur explores the deep sources of human freedom; and the analyses of "Fallible Man" invite us to seek, on the side of affectivity, a human being’s "opening" to the world of people. Similarly, in "History and Truth" and in other texts of the same period, Ricœur is already wondering about the possibility of trying to find, on the side of feelings, the revelation of the existence of others (cf. 1954, 340). Nonetheless, it was not until the ‘80s (especially in "From Text to Action") that the question of intersubjectivity was really explored; and it is only beginning with "Oneself as Another" that the question of the other, in its ethical dimension, becomes a central theme of Ricœur's thought.

Now, what makes an exploration of the theme of affectivity in Ricœur's early thought interesting is: (a) the opportunity it provides to expand and deepen the anthropological and ontological foundations of the Ricœurian ethics of solicitude; (b) the opportunity it provides, when considering the work of the later Ricœur, to shed new light on the meaning of this return from the moral norm―linked to the question of justice―to the more original character of the feeling of love; and finally (c) the potential it has for leading us to think of a new relationship between responsibility and vulnerability, within the broader framework of an anthropology of the capable human being. It is mainly in these three directions that contributors are invited to reflect for this thematic issue.

We have chosen, “Affectivity, initiative, fragility and vulnerability in Ricœur’s philosophical anthropology,” as the title for this issue because it seems to us that a retrospective reading of the phenomenological and ontological contributions to the constitution of the affective fragility of human beings, in "The Philosophy of the Will", allows for a clarification of the ethical question of initiative and the power that the responsible human being has. So, it will be a question of exploring the proper bodily and affective anchoring of our capacity to act and suffer in order to open up an ethical and political reflection capable of broadening the understanding of human vulnerability.

(a) Initiative
First of all, with regard the Ricœurian conception of freedom, we can try to answer the following questions: How are we to think about the links between the phenomenology of the will developed in "Freedom and Nature", the reflexive anthropology of "Fallible Man", and the hermeneutical formulation of the ethics of solicitude detailed in "Oneself as Another"? To what extent does a prior phenomenological approach to the body and feeling, leading to an analysis of human passions, shed light on the double dimension―teleological and deontological―of Ricœurian ethics? In what sense can the central thesis of an originally affective constitution of action be integrated into the "little ethics" of "Oneself as Another" and help us think about the idea of ​​a narrative entrenchment of ethics?

(b) Fragility
Next, with regard the exploration of both the ontological and the anthropological dimensions of the Ricœurian concept of human frailty, we can ask ourselves: To what extent does Ricœur's conception of human fragility (whether it is the tension between freedom and necessity thematized in "Freedom and Nature" or the relationship between negativity and original affirmation thematized in both "History and Truth" and "Fallible Man") give a foundation to the anthropological theory of the "reappropriation of the self" that prolongs and renews the theory of individual motivation in the hermeneutics of the self? In what sense does the Ricœurian analysis of passions, which show the mixed condition of fallible man and the tension between desire and the performance capacities of a meaningful life, allow us to delve more deeply into the relationship between fragility and responsibility expounded in "Oneself as Another"? How are we to think about the tension revealed in "Oneself as Another", between, on the one hand, a self capable of attestation and responsible for her or his action and, on the other hand, a self living through conflicts that are inherent to life whilst having a tragic sense of action that sometimes makes her or him powerless to say, to do, to tell and to answer for herself or himself in the face of the call of the other?

(c) Vulnerability
This series of questions could finally be supplemented by a series of questions concerning the issues raised by the Ricœurian conception of the constitution of personal, collective, and narrative identity. In the dialogues on topics as diverse as: narrativity, psychoanalysis, history, ideology or recognition that this conception has with other thinkers (Freud, Marx, Heidegger, Arendt, Jonas, Habermas or Gadamer) the very meaning of Ricœur's approach to human vulnerability is played out.
Beyond these philosophical discussions, which were actually developed by Ricoeur, we would finally like to encourage open reflections on the subject of the dialectic between affectivity and initiative, giving way to authors or theoretical fields with which Ricœur has little or no dialogue. In this regard, we are thinking in particular of the Daseinanalyse established by Binswanger, and of its development in Medard Boss or Maldiney. In our view, such an analytical approach invites us to think of an enlargement of the Ricœurian constitution of ipseity, by also exploring certain deviations and pathologies of Dasein that can be instructive if we want to better understand the psychological and existential constituents likely to determine the possibilities as well as the limits of the reception of the other.

Closing date for the submission of texts: 15th September 2018.


The Previous issues:


Volume 8, No 2 (2017): Varia here

Editor: Eileen Brennan


Volume 8, No 1 (2017): History-Philosophy: Reound Trip Here

Guest editor: François Dosse


Volume 7, No 2 (2016): Ricœur and the study of the Arts and Philosophical Aesthetics Here

Guest editors: Samuel Lelièvre, Yvon Inizan


Volume 7, No 1 (2016): Ricœur and Psychanalysis Here

Guest editors: Vinicio Busacchi, Weiny César Freitas Pinto


Volume 6, No 2 (2015): Justice at its Margins Here 

Guest editor: Geoffrey Dierckxsens


Volume 6, No 1 (2015): The Paradigm of Translation Here

Editor: Eileen Brennan


Volume 5, No 2 (2014): The question of Social and Political Imaginary Here

Editor: Jean-Luc Amalric


Volume 5, No 1 (2014): Ricœur and Analytic Philosophy Here

Editor: Johann Michel


Volume 4, No 2 (2013): The Crisis of the Self: Fragility, Vulnerability, and Suffering Here

Guest editors: Chiara Chinello, Claudia Pedone, Alberto Romele


Volume 4, No 1 (2013): Figures of Otherness Here

Guest editor: Fernanda Henriques


Volume 3, No 2 (2012): Philosophy and Religion  Here

Guest editor: Yasuhiko Sugimura


Volume 3, No 1 (2012): Implications of Paul Ricoeur's thought for social theory Here

Guest editor: Anna Borisenkova


Volume 2, No 2 (2011): Here

Guest editors: César Correa Arias, Gonçalo Marcelo, Fernando Nascimento


Volume 2, No 1 (2011): Recognition Here

Guest editor: Gonçalo Marcelo


Volume 1, No 1 (2010): Hermeneutics of the Self Here

Editors: Scott Davidson, Johann Michel