Identity and Selfhood: Paul Ricœur’s Contribution and Its Continuations

  • Claude RomanoEmail author
Part of the Contributions to Hermeneutics book series (CONT HERMEN, volume 2)


The main contribution of Ricœur’s work Oneself as Another to current debates on personal identity and the self is the elaboration of a new concept of selfhood that includes some features of Heidegger’s Selbstheit, but is utterly different from the classic starting point of egologies from Descartes onward, namely, the “I” or the “Self”. In the Heideggerian sense, selfhood is no longer a kind of entity, distinct from the human being or the embodied individual, or a name for the very continuity of consciousness, as it happens in Locke, but a mode of being (Weise zu sein) of Dasein. But in contrast with Heidegger, selfhood is also, according to Ricœur, a type of identity, since the whole conceptuality of Oneself as Another rests on a distinction between idem-identity and ipse-identity – only the latter being synonymous with selfhood. This article seeks to understand and to challenge the connection drawn by Ricœur between the problem of selfhood and the problem of identity to oneself, suggesting that the former notion cannot really be understood as a sort of identity.


Identity Selfhood Self Attestation Responsibility 


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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Paris-SorbonneParisFrance
  2. 2.Australian Catholic UniversitySydneyAustralia

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