Studies in Philosophy and Education

, Volume 22, Issue 5, pp 329-350

First online:

Interpretation and the Problem of Domination: Paul Ricoeur's Hermeneutics

  • Zeus LeonardoAffiliated withDepartment of Educational Psychology, Counseling, and Administration, California State University, Long Beach School of Education

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Hermeneutics, or the science of interpretation,is well accepted in the humanities. In thefield of education, hermeneutics has played arelatively marginal role in research. It isthe task of this essay to introduce thegeneral methods and findings of Paul Ricoeur'shermeneutics. Specifically, the essayinterprets the usefulness of Ricoeur'sphilosophy in the study of domination. Theproblem of domination has been a target ofanalysis for critical pedagogy since itsinception. However, the role of interpretationas a constitutive part of ideology critique isrelatively understudied and it is here thatRicoeur's ideas are instructive. Last, theessay radicalizes Ricoeur's insights in orderto realize their potential to disruptasymmetrical relations of power in education. To this extent, the author contributes to thebuilding of a critical brand of hermeneutics,or the interpretation of domination.

critical pedagogy democratic education domination hermeneutics ideology critique interpretive research Paul Ricoeur philosophy of education school change social justice