La reconnaissance, la justice, et la vie bonne


  • Charles Reagan Kansas State University



Recognition, Justice, The Good Life


This article deals with recognition, justice, and the good life separately, then as tied together in a web of interdependence. I begin with the multiple meanings of “recognition” and “to recognize.” I follow the order that Paul Ricoeur has in established in The Course of Recognition. Ricoeur groups these definitions into three kinds: epistemological definitions, recognition of oneself, and recognition of others. Next, I describe two kinds of justice, that of the judiciary and courts, both civil and criminal. Finally, I point out the many systems that must function to have a good life in a modern society. These include systems of transportation, communication, commerce, banking, private property, as well as many others. Their importance is brought home when we look at countries in civil war, such as Syria, or ones that have been mostly destroyed by natural forces such as Haiti after the massive earthquake. My conclusion is that the good life requires recognition of one another and of legitimate governments as well as functioning systems of justice.

Author Biography

Charles Reagan, Kansas State University

Professor of Philosophy and Professor of Aviation.  Formerly Chief of Staff/Deputy to the President.

Student at the Sorbonne, researcher in Paris, visiting professor at University of Toulouse.

Author of Paul Ricoeur: His Life and His Work