Ricoeur on Conscience: His Blind Spot and the Homecoming of Shame

René Thun

Abstract


In his hermeneutic of the self, which he is working out in his Oneself as another, Ricœur writes about the constitutive conditions of conscience as a dimension of the experience of passivity. For the following considerations, I will argue that Ricœur is very right in maintaining the moral impact of the notion of conscience; but if we on the other hand remember older writings by Ricœur like Fallible Man we have to admit that something is missed in the chapter about conscience in Oneself as Another. And that means, that in Oneself as Another he neglects the affective dimension of conscience. This affective dimension is - I think - the notion of shame.

Dans Soi-même comme un autre où s'élabore son herméneutique du soi, Paul Ricœur réfléchit sur les conditions constitutives de la conscience comme expérience de la passivité.  Pour les considerations suivantes, je souhaiterai montrer que Ricœur a tout à fait raison de plaider pour la dimension morale de la notion de conscience. Mais, d'un autre côté,si l'on se souvient des écrits plus anciens de Ricoeur sur l'Homme faillible, nous sommes tenus d'admettre que, au cours du chapitre sur la conscience dans Soi-même comme un autre, quelque chose est perdu de vue. Nous voulons signifier que, dans ce chapitre, il néglige la dimension affective de la conscience. Cette dimension affective est, nous semble-t-il, la notion de honte.

 


Keywords


Hermeneutics, Self, Conscience, Shame

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/errs.2010.28

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