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Feminist Explorations of Paul Ricoeur's Philosophy

Edited by Annemie Halsema and Fernanda Henriques - Contributions by Morny Joy; Pamela Sue Anderson; Stephanie N. Arel; Annlaug Bjørsnøs; Scott Davidson; Maria del Guadalupe Davidson; Marjolaine Deschênes; Carlos A. Garduño Comparán; Gonçalo Marcelo; Alison Scott-Baumann; Damien Tissot and Teresa Maria Leal de Assunção Martinho Toldy

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This book for the first time brings together considerations upon the feminine in relation to Paul Ricœur’s thinking. The collection of renowned scholars who have published extensively on Ricoeur and promising younger scholars together shows the rich potential of his thought for feminist theory, without failing to critically scrutinize it and to show its limitations with respect to thinking gender differences.
In the first part, “Ricœur, Women, and Gender,” Ricœur’s work is taken as the starting point for the reflection upon the position of women and the feminine, and for rethinking the notion of universalism. In the second part, “Ricœur in Dialogue,”his work is related to feminist thinkers such as Simone de Beauvoir, Judith Butler, and Nancy Fraser and to the work of artist Kara Walker. These dialogues aim at thinking through socially relevant notions such as discourse, recognition, and justice. In the third part, “Ricœur and Feminist Theology,” Ricœurian notions and ideas are the starting point for new perspectives upon feminist theology.

The insights developed in this book will be of particular value to students and scholars of Ricœur, feminist theory, and the limits of hermeneutics and phenomenology.
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Lexington Books
Pages: 274Size: 6 1/2 x 9 1/2
978-1-4985-1368-5 • Hardback • May 2016 • $90.00 • (£60.00)
978-1-4985-1369-2 • eBook • May 2016 • $85.00 • (£54.95)
Annemie Halsema is assistant professor in the Department of Philosophy of VU-University Amsterdam and board member of the International Association of Women Philosophers (IAPh).

Fernanda Henriques is professor in the Department of Philosophy of University of Évora.
Annemie Halsema and Fernanda Henriques

Part I: Ricœur, Women and Gender

Morny Joy

Alison Scott-Baumann

Carlos A. Garduño Comparán

Damien Tissot

Part II: Ricœur in Dialogue

Ipse.” The Ethical Self in Ricœur’s Hermeneutics and Butler’s Poststructuralism
Annemie Halsema
Marjolaine Deschênes
Gonçalo Marcelo
Annlaug Bjørsnøs

A Subtlety: Paul Ricœur, Kara Walker, and Intersectional Hermeneutics
Scott Davidson and Maria del Guadalupe Davidson

Part 3: Ricœur and Feminist Theology

Pamela Sue Anderson

Stephanie N. Arel

Fernanda Henriques and Teresa Martinho Toldy

List of Contributors
This book provides an implicit answer to the main dilemma of Feminist theories facing philosophical traditions. These didn’t pay enough attention to discrimination of women and to inequalities; should critical approaches prevail over a close exploration of classic and contemporary texts? How could we re-examine the philosophical canon from gender perspective? In this book, multidisciplinary and multinational, the authors analyze Hermeneutics and, in particular, P. Ricoeurs’s contribution; they explore an alternative version of some practical issues, such as ethical capacities, the quest for recognition, cosmopolitanism, hospitality, and universal principles like justice.

The book brings together updated interpretations of P.Ricoeur’s theory and gender accounts of current and complex questions. It is organized into three sections that draw close hermeneutic Phenomenology to other philosophical voices, from S. de Beauvoir to J. Butler and N. Fraser. It also demonstrates that this dialogue or appropriation was possible and, now, it could continue.
M.T. López de la Vieja, Universidad de Salamanca


In Feminist Explorations of Paul Ricœur's Philosophy, fourteen younger philosophers and feminists lead the mutually productive confrontation between Paul Ricœur’s hermeneutics and feminist thinking. The editors point out that though Ricœur himself did not pay attention to questions pertaining to gender, the articles in this volume show that it not only makes sense to approach his philosophical thought from a feminist point of view, but also that something philosophically new results of this exploration of his thought. The result is very gratifying. What would have pleased Ricœur more, he who believed when reading the philosophers of the past, ‘in this strange form of contemporaneity, a sort of conversation with the dead yet conducted by the living’?
Catherine Goldenstein, Scientific Counsil and Editorial Committee, Fonds Ricœur


Even though Ricœur himself never engaged a dialogue with feminist thinkers, this important collection of essays, edited by Annemie Halsema and Fernanda Henriques, demonstrates, in a very convincing way, the rich potential of his thought for feminist theory. For the first time, Ricœur's hermeneutics is not only critically approached from a feminist point of view, but his thought proves to be an extraordinary laboratory for the renewal of the concepts and arguments of feminist theory. Thanks to a comparative and fruitful analysis of Ricœur's critical hermeneutics and the great names of feminist thinking (Beauvoir, Fraser, Butler, etc.), the various contributors show the interest of this philosophy for feminist reflection, both in regard to the method of thinking (dialogue, conflict of interpretations, creativity of language) and in regard to the topics (the self, identity, justice, recognition, etc.) discussed by the French philosopher.
Jean-Luc Amalric, Etudes Ricœuriennes/Ricœur Studies


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