Paul Ricœur and the Utopia of Mutual Recognition

Gonçalo Marcelo


This article situates The Course of Recognition in the context of Ricœurian philosophy and contemporary debates on mutual recognition. This article reconstructs the debate between Ricœur and mainstream recognition scholars, as well as with the other figures, such as Boltanski, Thévenot and Hénaff, who had a direct influence in the way Ricœur fleshed out his alternative conception of recognition. By connecting recognition with Ricœur’s notions of ideology and utopia, we are able to uncover a major blind spot in the standard model of recognition,and to undo ideological and reified forms of recognition. Honneth and Ricœur both aim at societies whose members are duly recognized, but they do so in radically different manners. Whereas Honneth’s model must be politicized in order to become relevant to social change, Ricœur evisages social change in a pure ethics of recognition.


Agape, Gift, Honneth, Mutuality, Recognition, Ricœur, Utopia

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Copyright (c) 2011 Gonçalo Marcelo

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