2009: ‘Paul Ricoeur: The Intersection between Solitude and Connection’ in Lyceum. Vol. XI, no. 1, Fall 2009, pp. 43-72.

Lyceum (1):43-72 (2009)
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Abstract

This paper looks to the work of Paul Ricoeur as a means to explore the apparent paradox of the existential aloneness of the self and the unquenchable drive towards connection which is integral to the human condition. The tension between the self and the other than self is an issue affording no easy understanding or resolution. It is the assertion of this paper that Ricoeur’s philosophy, dealing in a unique way with concepts of narrative and interpretation, identity and recognition, and selfhood and otherness, provides a creative response to the diverse questions posed by this aspect of human experience. Ricoeur’s response is based on his vision of ‘solicitude’ which enables an intersection between solitude and connection, between concern for self and concern for the other, and between disparate components of subjectivity and inter-relationship. It is a deconstruction of the dualism commonly ascribed to self-love and love of the other.

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