Constructing Ricoeur’s Hermeneutical Theory of Truth

  • Todd S. MeiEmail author
Part of the Contributions to Hermeneutics book series (CONT HERMEN, volume 2)


While there are several moments throughout his career when Ricoeur devotes attention to the problem of truth—for example, in History and Truth, his conception of manifestation in his biblical hermeneutics, and when discussing convictions and non-epistemological beliefs in Oneself as Another—a more unified theory is never formulated. This can be seen as a somewhat odd omission given the emphasis he places on a hermeneutical form of reasoning. What is a theory of reasoning without a theory of truth? The aim of this chapter is to construct a theory of truth from various texts that span Ricoeur’s career. I begin by situating Ricoeur between Heidegger’s notion of truth as disclosure and MacIntyre’s view that truth is monolithic. I examine how fragility acts as the founding concept for a Ricoeurian theory of truth, which I describe as a kind of “holistic fallibilism.” The core of his theory is ethically grounded as opposed to emphasizing ontological disclosure, consistency of beliefs with a metaphysical principle, or the analysis of the reasonableness of statements/propositions.


Truth Fallibilism Holism Belief Unity 


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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of KentCanterburyUK

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