This collection brings together twenty-two essays by Paul Ricoeur under the topics of structuralism, psychoanalysis, hermeneutics, and religion. In dramatic conciseness, the essays illuminate the work of one of the leading philosophers of the day. Those interested in Ricoeur's development of the philosophy of language will find rich and suggestive reading. But the diversity of essays also speaks beyond the confines of philosophy to linguists, theologians, psychologists, and psychoanalysts.
In this volume, Paul Ricoeur investigates the antinomy between history and truth, or between historicity and meaning. He argues that history has meaning insofar as it approaches universality and system, but has no meaning insofar as this universality violates the singularity of individuals' lives. Imposing unity upon truth, or unifying the diversity of knowledge and opinion, creates a singular and universal history but destroys historicity and subjectivity. Allowing for singularities in history promotes a multiplicity of truths over a single, unique truth, and thereby annhilates system.