"As if" and the Surplus of Being in Ricoeur's Poetics

Timo Helenius


Based on the double character of “as if,” it is argued in this paper that “the surplus of meaning” turns out to be “the surplus of being,” which reveals a human being who interprets his or her own being and also acknowledges this being as be-ing at the same time. In this article, 1) the notion of “as if” is retrieved from Ricoeur’s early work in relation to the “poetics of being” aspired to by him. This leads us to 2) examine the relation between the “semantic surplus” and the “becoming of being.” 3) Addressing the problem of metaphorical reference, the key philosophical problem of poetics, is, therefore, inevitable. Only after this analysis will we 4) be able to consider whether there is a kind of “poetics of being” in the work of Paul Ricoeur.



poetics, ontology, polysemy, metaphor

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/errs.2012.113

Copyright (c) 2012 Timo Helenius

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