lds-herm blog

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

Archive for the ‘Ricoeur’ Category

Chapter 3: “Personal Memory, Collective Memory”

Posted by joespencer on March 22, 2008

Sickness set me back quite a bit this week, and I wasn’t able even to look at this chapter until today (a day after my usual posting). So I’ve done a rather quick job of reading this week and have only a comment or two I’d like to get on the table. Read the rest of this entry »


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Chapter 2: “The Exercise of Memory: Uses and Abuses”

Posted by joespencer on March 14, 2008

The curious movement of this chapter intrigues me. Though there is clearly a well-devised order to it, it is riddled with what appear (in the moment, merely?) to be gratuitous strolls down side alleys. Riddled, indeed: the chapter ends up something like a riddle, something I wish Ricoeur would have been a bit more forthcoming about. What follows, as a result, is perhaps little more than a collection of musings—all written, though, with the intent of sorting out what Ricoeur intends to accomplish overall in this chapter. Read the rest of this entry »

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Chapter 1, Part 2: “A Phenomenological Sketch of Memory” and “Memories and Images”

Posted by joespencer on February 29, 2008

All through the process of reading this section of the text, I found it vital to keep quite in mind what Ricoeur’s declared purpose is in this first chapter: to think about the what of memory, on the way toward the task of thinking about the how of memory. The real “meaning” of this passage from the what to the how is made clear only in the last paragraph of the chapter. There Ricoeur draws to a point all that he has accomplished in this first chapter: “This is the question of the reliability of memory and, in this sense, of its truth.” (p. 54) Thus, “At the end of our investigation, and in spite of the traps that imagination lays for memory, it can be affirmed that a specific search for truth is implied in the intending of the past ‘thing,’ of what was formerly seen, heard, experienced, learned.” (pp. 54-5) To walk the same trecherous road I wandered down last week (that of lumping the thought of different thinkers together… perhaps a bit too facilely), I might point out the remarkable extent to which Ricoeur here sounds like Badiou. Inasmuch, that is, as the “what” to which Ricoeur refers can be connected with the thematized “event” in Badiou. Indeed, Badiouian subjectivity might be read into Ricoeur’s “More precisely, in the moment of recognition, in which the effort of recollection is completed, this search for truth declares itself”; and Ricoeur almost employs Badiou’s technical language in this: “Let us call this search for truth, faithfulness.” But let me not get too carried away here. Read the rest of this entry »

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Chapter 1, Part 1: “Reading Guidelines” and “The Greek Heritage”

Posted by joespencer on February 22, 2008

Ricoeur opens part I of his book with a two-page introduction of sorts, nicely summarized in its final two sentences: “This will be our path: from ‘What?’ to ‘Who?’ passing by way of ‘How?’ From memories to reflective memory, passing by way of recollection.” (p. 4) The “reading guidelines” that then opens the first chapter of the book doubles this projection with a problematic that might ultimately be said to be somewhat Lacanian: “The constant danger of confusing remembering and imagining, resulting from memories becoming images in this way, affects the goal of fiathfulness corresponding to the truth claim of memory. And yet . . . [sic] And yet, we have nothing better than memory to guarantee that something has taken place before we call to mind a memory of it.” (p. 5) Two problematics, then, to get this book started: the distinction (Aristotle’s) between memory as an almost passive experience (I happen to remember something) and the intentional act of recollection; and the knot of memory and imagination. Ricoeur’s take on “the Greek heritage” shows that these two problematics are interconnected. Read the rest of this entry »

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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. Read the rest of this entry »

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