Résumés - Abstracts La symbolique du mal

La Symbolique du mal, Atelier d’été, Paris  25-29 juin 2018
The Symbolic of Evil, Summer Workshop: Paris, June 25-29, 2018

 

Monday, June 25

 

Barnabas Aspray: "The Meaning of Evil: its Link to Sin, Finitude, and Guilt in Ricœur  and Falque"
Evil was the birthplace of Ricœur’s hermeneutics; he began his famous ‘hermeneutic turn’ when he noticed that evil can only be spoken indirectly through symbols. But for Emmanuel Falque, evil causes the entire structure of hermeneutics to fall apart, because hermeneutics is predicated on meaning and evil is meaningless by nature. This paper will argue that the conflict between Falque and Ricœur is rooted in how they define evil in relation to finitude and guilt: at heart a metaphysical question based on the construal of evil as privatio boni.

 

Amy Daughton: "In the Face of Evil: Fear and Hope"

The trajectory of Paul Ricœur’s thought from the fallible to the capable human person offers a hopeful vision of human nature constitutive of our shared political life. Yet, by necessity, hope arises in response to fear, and the tragic, which also features in Ricoeur’s work at the existential and ethical levels. Hope and tragedy introduce the very limits of philosophical reasoning, representing meeting points with religious discourse. Exploring these reveals the contribution of religious thinking to the understanding of hope and tragedy and establishes Ricœur’s political thinking as ultimately shaped by the interplay, begun in Symbolism of Evil.

 

Lundi, 25 juin

 

Francesca D'Alessandris (Scuola Internazionale di Alti Studi – Fondazione Collegio San Carlo, Modena) : "La “Grandeur du tout” dans La Symbolique du mal Ricœur et la théodicée renversée"
Dans les dernières pages de La Symbolique du mal, Ricœur interprète le Livre de Job comme un écrit révélateur du caractère tragique du mal.
Toutefois, en comparant le texte ricœurien avec l’essai de Philippe Nemo Job et l’excès du mal1, ce que je voudrais montrer dans ma brève intervention est que le caractère injustifiable de la souffrance de Job ne représente pas un échec pour la pensée religieuse mais plutôt le véritable point de départ pour l’actuation d’une foi authentique. Cette actuation s’appuie, comme je chercherai à le montrer, sur la prémisse que seule une foi spécifique vacille devant l’absurdité du mal : il s’agit de la foi de ceux qui croient que Dieu doit rendre compte de la souffrance humaine. Au contraire, pour ceux qui, comme Job, sont disponibles à une « réconciliation non narcissique », la foi devient foi pour rien, et le problème de la théodicée n’est pas résolu mais dissout.

 

René Dentz : "L'horizon ricoeurien: le mal et le pardon entre la philosophie et la théologie"

La Symbolique du mal est le troisième volume de la philosophie de la volonté où on passe de la faute aux expressions indirectes de celle-ci. Les expressions qui sont toujours symboliques. En fait, l'interprétation des divers symboles du mal dans diverses traditions culturelles conduit à théoriser le symbole comme facteur de stimulus de la pensée elle-même. La conclusion de Ricœur est la suivante : les symboles «cèdent la place à la pensée».

Dès lors, comment pouvons-nous les utiliser afin d'avancer dans toutes nos réflexions sur la question du mal ?

 

Adna Candido de Paula (UFVJM – Brésil) : "La symbolique du mal: en amont vers le discours fictionnel, en aval vers l'action"
Ma communication présentera les réflexions réalisées au cours du développement de deux projets de recherche, à savoir : « Le mal et les entités fictionelles : une perspective ontologique dans la compréhension de la symbolique du mal » et « L'imagination, la sensibilité et l'émotion dans la dimension de la sagesse pratique ». Le point de contact entre ces deux recherches est, en amont et en aval, La symbolique du mal et surtout l’idée défendue par Ricœur que le symbole donne à penser. Dans le cadre de la relation entre le discours et le symbole, cette communication propose d’aborder deux affirmations de Ricoeur : (i)  que le symbole soit à la limite entre le bios et le logos ; (ii) que la production humaine de symboles découle d’une impulsion ontologique qui ne se dilue pas dans une structure langagière. Dans le cadre de la relation entre pensée et action, elle va s’adresser a des sujets suivants : (i) la relation entre la phronesis et l’imagination; (ii) le rapprochement entre le jugement esthétique kantien et l’opération intellectuelle propre du phronimos ; (iii) le rôle de l'imagination en tant que productrice de sens dans la perspective de la sagesse pratique.

 

Tuesday, June 26

 

Anna Westin : "A Phenomenology of Mental Illness: Evil, Hope and Imagining Justice in Ricœur"

Phenomenology is, as Simon Critchley puts it, the ‘science des naïvetés’, a study of what we engage with normally; the ‘work of reflection that is brought to bear on unreflective, everyday life…reminders of what we already know but continually pass over’ (Critchley 2002, p. 7). If, as Arendt suggests, evil often reveals itself as banality, then perhaps phenomenology presents just the right means to uncover how this banality weaves itself into our human situation. Emmanuel Lévinas writes that evil reveals itself in the suffering of the other. Evil presents itself as mal, as the face made anonymous. This place of anonymity is a situation without exit. It is an overwhelming experience that cuts the person off from the other. For those who have experienced mental illness, this characterisation of anonymity and facelessness can feel tangibly apt. However, it is into this situation that justice reveals itself in hope. As the first relation that premises all others, the self is confronted with this cry, the half-formed groan of the other, which pleads for a response. This situation of evil can, in the response, become the relation of hope. More specifically, it can become the place in which justice is made manifest.

In this paper I will look at how Lévinas’ phenomenology can be further developed through the work of Paul Ricoeur. Lévinas brings the relation of non-response into a confrontation with justice, as exit through the relational response of the other. It is not the said but the saying that reveals the other to us. Ricoeur expands this relation further through his insight on the imagination. Ricoeur not only looks at evil, as an experience of physical pain and facelessness. In Symbolism of Evil, he explains how evil links to defilement, and further explores how myth can bring insight into how guilt and defilement are experienced in the situation of evil. This, I will suggest, has important implications for how we understand the phenomenology of guilt in mental illness. Whereas the suffering of Lévinas enables the self-other relation to develop as an act of justice, as a way out of suffering, Ricoeur further partners this act of justice with the intricacies of how this phenomenology of evil is experienced through the imagination and language.

Whilst trying to avoid reducing experiences of mental illness to generalities, I will explore how particular aspects of mental illness can be experienced as an experience of separation. The experience of non-exit that gives rise to the need for another’s response therefore facilitates an act of justice. More profoundly, Ricoeur’s phenomenology demonstrates how this particular experience can be understood through the symbolism of evil, through which justice can be restored as a relation of hope, using the same modalities. Mental illness is experienced phenomenologically in the imagination and the body of the self. Engaging the very imagination that has become the site of this experience of evil, myth and symbolism can become the mode through which justice is restored to the individual, and the hopeful relation is established. Thus Ricoeur, in conversation with Lévinas, can develop a robust understanding of evil and justice that can give meaning to the phenomenon of mental illness. It can situate the sufferer in the wider relation of self and embodied experience that becomes the very same site of hope. The experience of the separation of suffering, re-imagined in hope, can thereby become the phenomenon in which the mentally ill person can experience justice.

 

Wednsday, June 27


Martina Weingärtner (University of Augsburg): "The reconnaissance of the fallible man – the Jacob figure as biblical case study of Ricœur`s reflexion about guilt and the difficulty of forgiveness"

The biblical story about the patriarch Jacob and his brother Esau is a fundamental narrative about betrayal and redemption, about guilt and reconciliation. In a suspense manner, the biblical text unfolds the experience of a political and juridical guilt. Exploiting the metaphorical potential of the impertinent character of the evil acts, the text refers to the theological dimension of guilt. Culminating in the symbol for defilement in the limping hip, the figure of Jacob personifies the idea of the fallible man. Throughout the encounter with the Other, reconciliation as reconnaissance takes place and enables the possibility to live again as capable man.

 

Mercredi, 27 juin

 

Michaela Bauks (Université de Koblenz-Landau, Universitätsstr. 1): La figure du serpent et leur fonction pour le „mythe adamique“ (Gen 2-3) ainsi que pour la description du mal selon Paul Ricœur.

Paul Ricœur prend distance de l’interprétation de Genèse 2-3 en tant que „chute“ et l’intitule "le mythe adamique". Ce récit profondément anthropologique cherche à dédoubler l’origine du mal afin de distinguer l’origine radicale du mal de celle plus originaire du bien. Le mal n’est pas seulement attaché à la figure adamique, à la responsabilité de l’homme, mais entre en interaction par autres éléments, en avant la figure du serpent, qui est dessinée hors d’un concept purement dualiste ou polythéiste. Le mal est « décosmologisé » et « psychologisé ». La « triple 'esquisse d’un serpent' » devient le symbole du « chaos en moi, entre nous et au dehors » (La Symblique du mal, 242) qui déconstruit positivement la lecture courante de la telle dite « histoire du péché originel“ pour dessiner l’homme dans sa faiblesse et dans sa manière de céder.

 

Thursday, June 28

 

Michael Steinmetz (Universität Trier): "Affirmation originaire and Negativity-The Origins of Human Fallibility in the Dialectic of Being and Nothing"
In L’homme faillible, Ricœur relates the question of the origin of evil to the fallibility of h, because it represents the condition of the possibility of moral misconduct. Our fallibility inherits the basic human condition of non-coincidence of the ego with itself. The basic motive of non- coincidence has to be understood in the light of Jean Nabert's philosophy of reflection. Ricœur connects Nabert's philosophy with the tradition of Johann Gottlieb Fichte. I argue, that an adequate understanding of non-coincidence can only be provided, if we supplement this reading with a concept of negativity borrowed from Hegel's philosophy. Insofar as the fallibility is attributed to non-coincidence, it has its ultimate cause in the dialectic of being and nothing. This dialectic is presented as the space of appearance of the evil.