“Archeologia del soggetto” ed “ermeneutica del sé”. Paul Ricoeur lettore e critico di Freud

This entry is part 4 of 31 in the series Vol 1-2016

Abstract: In this paper it is analyzed Paul Ricoeur’s critical comparison with Freud. We have highlighted that the psychoanalysis is interpreted as “archeology of the subject”, and as “hermeneutics of the human condition”. In particular, we have considered Ricoeur’s work of 1965 Freud and Philosophy: An Essay on Interpretation, first edited in 1965. According to Ricoeur, Freudian psychoanalysis is a form of determinism: the human action is essentially explained on the basis of an unconscious and primordial mind. In this perspective, man is not completely free: Éros, thánatos, and anánke determin the human agency. In opposition to Freudian psychoanalysis, Ricoeur proposes a teleological conception of human action. He develops a “philosophy of freedom”, and a hermeneutics of the subject based on human capabilities. In the last part of our paper, we have analyzed the great work Oneself as Another (1990), in which Ricoeur deals with the problem of selfhood in the context of contemporary discussions of “otherness.” We have particularly underlined that Ricoeur’s intention is to develop a complex ontology of homo capax. According to the French philosopher, to exist is to act: speaking, doing, telling, and assuming responsibility for the act commetted. The very “being” of human beings is to act and the effort to be. In this perspective, the human interiority is considered as dynamic production (enérgeia, conatus). Being as act and potentiality, accordingly, is the dominant meta-category that governs Ricoeur’s philosphical anthropology.

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