Continental Philosophy Review

, Volume 48, Issue 2, pp 197–216 | Cite as

Anamnemic subjectivity: new steps toward a hermeneutics of memory

  • Hans Ruin


The topic and theme of memory has occupied an ambiguous position in phenomenological and hermeneutic thinking from the start, at once central and marginalized. Parallel to and partly following upon the general turn toward collective and cultural memory in the human and social sciences over the last decades, the importance of memory in and for phenomenological and hermeneutic theory has begun to emerge more clearly. The article seeks to untangle the reasons for the ambiguous position of this theme. It describes how and why the question of what memory is can provide a unique entrance to thinking the temporality and historicity of human existence, while at the same time it can also block the access to precisely these most fundamental levels of subjectivity. The text argues for a deeper mutual theoretical engagement between phenomenological–hermeneutical thinking and contemporary cultural memory studies, on the basis of an understanding of memory as finite and ec-static temporality, and as the enigma of so-called anamnetic subjectivity.


Memory Hermeneutics Gadamer Ricoeur Cultural memory Temporality 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Culture and LearningSödertörn UniversityHuddingeSweden

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