Paul Ricœur and the Idea of Second Naivety: Origins, Analogues, Applications
Keywords:Second Naivety, Post-critical Naivety, Detour, Self-understanding, Mediation
AbstractDespite the fact that it is only rarely mentioned by Ricœur, the concept of second (or post-critical) naivety seems to express an idea that is central to his hermeneutical attitude, which is why it deserves more attention. This idea can be broadly understood as the aspiration to arrive at a mediated and post-critical (self-)understanding through “detours” provided by different critical methods such as psychoanalysis or structuralism. My article consists of three parts: first, I examine the origins of the notion of second naivety, drawing attention to the fact that both Ricœur and his precursors used the term in connection with religious symbols and faith. Then, by comparing it to analogous ideas in Ricœur’s works, I argue that the concept of second naivety can be extended to interpretation in general. Finally, I explore the possibility of a second naivety after those particular critical methods.
GADAMER Hans-Georg, Truth and Method, trans. by Joel Weinsheimer and Donald G. Marshall (London and New York: Continuum, 2004).
HEIDEGGER Martin. Being and Time, trans. by Joan Stambaugh (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1996).
MARCELO Gonçalo, “Paul Ricœur et Eric Weil: Histoire, Vérité et Conflits des Interprétations,” Cultura, 31 (2013), 247-266.
MICHEL Johann, Ricœur and the Post-Structuralists: Bourdieu, Derrida, Deleuze, Foucault, Castoriadis, trans. by Scott Davidson (London: Rowman & Littlefield International, 2015).
NEGEL Joachim, “Zweite Naivität: Begriffsgeschichtliche und systematische Erwägungen zu einem vielbemühten, aber selten verstandenen Konzept,” In Welt als Gabe: Hermeneutische Grenzgänge zwischen Theologie und Phänomenologie (Münster: Aschendorff Verlag, 2013), 259-288.
RICŒUR Paul, “Nécessité de Karl Marx,” ÊTRE 2 (1938), 6-11.
RICŒUR Paul, The Symbolism of Evil, trans. by Emerson Buchanan (Boston: Beacon, 1967).
RICŒUR Paul, Freud and Philosophy: An Essay on Interpretation, trans. Denis Savage (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1970).
RICŒUR Paul, The Conflict of Interpretations: Essays in Hermeneutics, ed. by Don Ihde (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1974).
RICŒUR Paul, Hermeneutics and the Human Sciences: Essays on Language, Action and Interpretation, ed. and trans. by John B. Thompson (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981).
RICŒUR Paul, Time and Narrative vol. 3, trans. by Kathleen Blamey & David Pellauer (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988).
RICŒUR Paul, From Text to Action: Essays in Hermeneutics II, trans. by Kathleen Blamey & John B. Thompson (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1991).
RICŒUR Paul, Oneself as Another, trans. by Kathleen Blamey (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992).
SCOTT-BAUMANN Alison, Ricœur and the Hermeneutics of Suspicion (London: Continuum, 2009).
VALDÉS Mario J., ed. A Ricœur Reader: Reflection and Imagination. Toronto: Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1991.
VAN DER LEEUW Gerardus, Inleiding tot de phaenomenologie van den godsdienst (Haarlem: De Erven F. Bohn, 1948).
WALLACE Mark I., The Second Naiveté. Barth, Ricœur, and the New Yale Theology (Macon, Georgia: Mercer University Press, 1995).
WOLFF Ernst, Lire Ricœur depuis la périphérie. Décolonisation, modernité, herméneutique (Bruxelles: Éditions de l’Université de Bruxelles, 2021).
WOLFF Ernst, “Utilitarianism as an Exercise of Suspicion?” European Journal of Pragmatism and American Philosophy, XIV-1 (2022), doi: 10.4000/ejpap.2768.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- The Author retains copyright in the Work, where the term “Work” shall include all digital objects that may result in subsequent electronic publication or distribution.
- Upon acceptance of the Work, the author shall grant to the Publisher the right of first publication of the Work.
- The Author shall grant to the Publisher and its agents the nonexclusive perpetual right and license to publish, archive, and make accessible the Work in whole or in part in all forms of media now or hereafter known under a Creative Commons 4.0 License (Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works), or its equivalent, which, for the avoidance of doubt, allows others to copy, distribute, and transmit the Work under the following conditions:
- Attribution—other users must attribute the Work in the manner specified by the author as indicated on the journal Web site;
- Noncommercial—other users (including Publisher) may not use this Work for commercial purposes;
- No Derivative Works—other users (including Publisher) may not alter, transform, or build upon this Work,with the understanding that any of the above conditions can be waived with permission from the Author and that where the Work or any of its elements is in the public domain under applicable law, that status is in no way affected by the license.
- The Author is able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the nonexclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the Work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), as long as there is provided in the document an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post online a pre-publication manuscript (but not the Publisher’s final formatted PDF version of the Work) in institutional repositories or on their Websites prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work. Any such posting made before acceptance and publication of the Work shall be updated upon publication to include a reference to the Publisher-assigned DOI (Digital Object Identifier) and a link to the online abstract for the final published Work in the Journal.
- Upon Publisher’s request, the Author agrees to furnish promptly to Publisher, at the Author’s own expense, written evidence of the permissions, licenses, and consents for use of third-party material included within the Work, except as determined by Publisher to be covered by the principles of Fair Use.
- The Author represents and warrants that:
- the Work is the Author’s original work;
- the Author has not transferred, and will not transfer, exclusive rights in the Work to any third party;
- the Work is not pending review or under consideration by another publisher;
- the Work has not previously been published;
- the Work contains no misrepresentation or infringement of the Work or property of other authors or third parties; and
- the Work contains no libel, invasion of privacy, or other unlawful matter.
- The Author agrees to indemnify and hold Publisher harmless from Author’s breach of the representations and warranties contained in Paragraph 6 above, as well as any claim or proceeding relating to Publisher’s use and publication of any content contained in the Work, including third-party content.