Paul Ricoeur is a philosopher of wide ranging interests whose main concern is hermeneutics. His hermeneutics is self-reflexive, an existential appropriation that eventually gives way to self-understanding. Questions pertaining to self-identity, the problem of the other and intersubjectivity are presented by him in a tensive style, keeping the scope of interpretations wide open. While discussing the question of self-identity, he moves towards intersubjectivity which is centred on self-esteem. It provides a context for self-constancy which gives to a moral identity, an attestation of Here I am. Here arises the basic issue, how the narrative identity which is hermeneutical give rise to an ethical relation. If so, Ricoeur must be ready to see that there is an asymmetric relation between the same and the other which can be termed ethical. Though he says that conscience contains an injunction to attest ourselves to say, Here I am, it is a statement of “said” and not one of “saying”. Only a statement of “saying” can interrupt ontology and enact the movement from the same to the other which is ethical. Hence, Ricoeur stands at the hemeneutical level which cannot abandon ontology. But the polysemic nature of alterity posed by him never closes the possibilities of an ethical interpretation.
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Lekshmi, R. Is There a Gap Between the Hermeneutical and the Ethical? A Discussion on Paul Ricoeur’s Moral Attestation of Here I am. J. Indian Counc. Philos. Res. 40, 65–79 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40961-023-00294-0