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Ricoeur's Account of Tradition and the Gadamer: Habermas Debate

Robert Piercey
Human Studies
Vol. 27, No. 3 (2004), pp. 259-280
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20010375
Page Count: 22
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Ricoeur's Account of Tradition and the Gadamer: Habermas Debate
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Abstract

While it is clear that the Gadamer-Habermas debate has had a major influence on Paul Ricoeur, his commentators have had little to say about the nature of this influence. I try to remedy this silence by showing that Ricoeur's account of tradition is a direct response to the Gadamer-Habermas debate. First, I briefly explain the debate's importance and describe Ricoeur's reaction to it. Next, I show how his discussion of tradition in Time and Narrative steers a middle course between Gadamerian hermeneutics and Habermasian Ideologiekritik. Finally, I raise some critical questions about the adequacy of Ricoeur's middle course. Specifically, I argue that it rests on an implausible distinction between the form and the content of tradition.

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