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Ricoeur and Marcel: An Alternative to Postmodern Deconstruction

University Library System, University of Pittsburgh
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  • Philosophy


RICOEUR AND MARCEL: AN ALTERNATIVE TO POSTMODERN DECONSTRUCTION In a special way today, when the emphasis on the end of metaphysics puts the very possibility of philosohy into question, Gabriel Marcel's philosophical reflections, t9gether with those of his astute disciple Paul Ricoeur, can shed light on the philosophical enterpise for the future. In whatever form it survives', continental philosophy, to be viable and adequate, must confront head on this challenge from postmodern (antimodern) deconstructive thinkers. 1 And it is precisely the positive role of closure or limit in the philosophies of Marcel and Ricoeur which can serve as a response to that recent challenge, a response which must be made for the redirection of continental philosophy in this country. It is our purpose to dweil on this challenge, assess its positive contribution to recent thinking, and then, to present an alternative philosophy at the limit of reason as one of the most innovative and fruitful currents of contemporary thinking. A first brief focus on the recent adaptations of the role of the Kantian productive imagination will be helpful to distinguish currents of thought in addressing the limit of thinking. Three distinct roles of imagination emerge in philosophy at its end-limit. First, in Heideggers finitization of reason, the productive imagination is the source of reason itself and, as such, of the limit placed by reason; all of which, in Heideggers view, are rooted in 1"Postmodern" is not th~ most felicitous term, and is not adequate for many who are usually included under the label. To speak of "postmodemism" is already to make it something solidified and structured, which is precisely what many of its adherents oppose. Since they do agree in their opposition to modernism, it more benign to refere to this movement or style of thinking as "antimodernism". 164 "primordial· time ll ,2 bespeaking the closure which must be transgressed--the closure toward the meaning of Being and toward Being itself wi

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