Pamela Sue Anderson’s Journeying with Paul Ricoeur

Angelaki 25 (1-2):84-96 (2020)
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Abstract

This essay on the life and work of Pamela Sue Anderson traces aspects of her scholarly work that I was very fortunate to share with her over twenty-six years. What brought us together was our commitment to feminism but also our strong interest in the work of Paul Ricoeur – which seemed to many people an odd combination, given Ricoeur’s silence on the topic of women and gender issues. Over the years, we met at conferences, read each other’s books, and published articles in each other’s publications. My principal aim is to chart her own journey and her relation to the work of Paul Ricoeur. What was remarkable in Pamela’s work was her passionate commitment, which was especially contagious. Her early work on the philosopher Kant was rigorous in ways that helped to initiate a wealth of new scholarship and increased an awareness of Ricoeur’s Kantian influence. In relation to Ricoeur’s work, Pamela was intrigued by his silence on women, but she realized that, given his dialogical approach, she could attempt not only to introduce feminist insights but also to expand his ideas so as to incorporate philosophy of religion. First, she integrated Ricoeur’s approach of the hermeneutics of suspicion to assist in this task. Then she adapted his writings on hospitality. But it was only when Ricoeur turned his attention to human suffering and vulnerability in his later years – a topic that resonated deeply with Pamela – that she was moved to write specifically in ways that helped incorporate her insights with Ricoeur’s in constructive ways. Her final publications reflect her wise and thought-provoking conclusions.

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References found in this work

Life, death and (inter)subjectivity: realism and recognition in continental feminism.Pamela Sue Anderson - 2007 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 60 (1-3):41-59.
Fragility and responsibility.Paul Ricoeur - 1995 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 21 (5-6):15-22.

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