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Paul Ricoeur and the theoretical imagination

Vlacos, Sophie Laura 2011. Paul Ricoeur and the theoretical imagination. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.

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This study seeks to account for and contest Ricoeur's relative absence from the literary-theoretical canon in Britain. Whilst Ricoeur secured a highly influential position within American language philosophy in his lifetime, the literary consequences of his philosophy have been largely overlooked by literary-theoretical discourse itself. This is in spite of Ricoeur's role within the revolution of French thought from whence the New Critical dominion was finally overturned in this country. I contend that the heightened socio-political exigencies of the theoretical revolution, whilst they facilitated a desirable renewal of thought, also fostered unhelpful polarities between the subject and the text, between an idealist metaphysics and a sceptical Theory and a submerged prejudice against philosophies which, like hermeneutics, maintained a positive dialogue with the Kantian tradition. Forged in the interchange of German romanticism and German historicism, modem hermeneutics developed as a response to the excesses of both, seeking to place limits on the claims of a self-authored genius and linguistic determinism alike. As a contemporary of phenomenology and structuralism, Ricoeur provides a similar negotiation of his immediate context, putting paid to the heightened polemic of the literary textualists and the literary relativists alike. Central to this achievement is Ricoeur's concept of "semantic innovation" it stands at the heart of his theory of metaphor and forms the basis for his semantic re-appropriation of the productive imagination. Through a combination of historical and philosophical analysis, this thesis seeks to demonstrate Ricoeur's highly rigorous achievements as an astute theoretician and as one wholeheartedly committed to the liberating powers of the literary imagination.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0080 Criticism
ISBN: 9781303218927
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2016 23:31

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