lds-herm blog

Discussion of hermeneutics, esp. as it pertains to LDS scripture

Ricoeur’s Memory, History, Forgetting: Introductory

Posted by joespencer on February 15, 2008

My purpose in this introductory post is to provide a bit of background to Ricoeur’s work generally, but, rather than redoing the well-done work of others, I’ll just point to two very helpful sources on the subject. First, Wikipedia has a decent biographical sketch of Ricoeur, though it says almost nothing about his philosophical work. Second, for the latter, the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy has a marvelous summary of Ricoeur’s philosophy. These two sources should give us a good starting point for approaching Ricoeur’s work. I will, as I have time over the next day or two, try to add some of my own comments about how I think these sources help us take up Ricoeur.

Also, I’d like to post the proposed schedule (which can be revised as need be during the course of the discussions) for reading Memory, History, Forgetting. It is as follows (the date attached to each block is the date that a post on that particular block will be posted, discussion continuing as long as interest remains):

February 22nd: pp. 1-20

February 29th: pp. 21-55

March 7th: pp. 56-92

March 14th: pp. 93-132

March 21st: pp. 133-152

March 28th: pp. 153-181

April 4th: pp. 182-208

April 11th: pp. 209-233

April 18th: pp. 234-260

April 25th: pp. 261-280

May 2nd: pp. 281-304

May 9th: pp. 305-342

May 16th: pp. 343-381

May 23rd: pp. 382-411

May 30th: pp. 412-442

June 6th: pp. 443-469

June 13th: pp. 470-506

I anticipate very interesting discussions…


12 Responses to “Ricoeur’s Memory, History, Forgetting: Introductory”

  1. Clark said

    I’ve got mine on order. I just hope I’ll actually have time to contribute.

    Of course I admit my Ricoeur is rustier than I care to admit… So hopefully this will be a great way to refresh my memory. (Pun intended)

  2. joespencer said

    In just a couple of days, I’ll have the first post on Memory, History, Forgetting up. I hope that some of the background reading has been helpful for others. The article in the SEP was quite helpful for me in piecing together Ricoeur’s earliest work (pre-Symbolism of Evil), with which I’m not at all familiar.

  3. Robert C. said

    As I mentioned before, I’m reading Pellauer’s Guide for the Perplexed volume on Ricoeur which has been very helpful in situating Riceour’s progression of thought. On the bright side, I’ve read everything except Pellauer’s chapter on Oneself as Another, which I hope to get to soon. On the other hand, I haven’t started MHF yet, so I might be a bit slow in getting this first reading done, depending on how things at home shape up this weekend.

  4. Jim F. said

    Robert, I assume that you think Pellauer’s introduction is good. Am I right?

  5. Justin W. said

    I’ve just started reading Memory, History, and Forgetting, so I’m looking forward to posts and discussion.

  6. Justin W. said

    And how do you do Italics on this site? Thanks.

  7. Robert C. said

    Jim, yes, Pellauer’s book is excellent. I like how it works somewhat systematically/chronologically through Ricoeur’s main works, trying to give a sketch of the main arguments without simplifying things too much. I’ve looked a bit at Karl Simms’ book (part of the Routledge Critical Thinkers series, which is aimed toward a literary audience) and, to a lesser extent, Mark Muldoon’s book (a Wadsworth Notes book), and both seem more simplified, though probably more accessible to a less philosophically inclined reader.

    Justin, glad to have you. Use html tags for text italics and other text formatting—try looking here, or:

    [less than sign] i [greater than sign] text to be italicized here [less than sign] /i [greater than sign].

  8. David G. said

    I’m coming late to this discussion (thanks to Clark for linking to this on his blog). I’m a historian that does memory, so Ricoeur is a bit daunting for me (Jim F. can attest to my trepidation). But I’m looking forward to reading y’all’s thoughts on Memory, History, Forgetting.

  9. joespencer said

    Welcome aboard, David. We’ve only really just begun.

    While I’m on the board for a second, I’ll let everyone know that I probably won’t be able to post anything for this week. I was laid up flat on my back most of the week, and then had company for a few days after that. I have not even looked at Ricoeur this week. The schedule will just be bumped one week.

  10. Clark said

    Good. I’ll be caught up. I’m nearly done chapter 2.

  11. Robert C. said

    Welcome, David.

    I’m glad to delay things a week since I’ve got several other things going on this week, and I’m still hoping to write up some more thoughts on this first chapter (from the looks of it, the second chapter will be a much easier read).

    When I get around to it, I’ll try to transfer the reading schedule to a new tabbed page for easier reference and updating (where the old Girard reading schedule is now).

  12. Rich Knapton said

    Just passing by on comet and thought I would drop in.

    For those, like me, who have not received their copy of the book yet, you can go to google books and type in “Memory, History, Forgetting.” and click on Ricoeur’ book. A lot of the book is available in digital form. I’ve been using this to follow along. The irritating thing is I cannot mark passages for later reference.

    I’m primarily here for the history. So, it will be nice to have people explain what I just read. :))


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