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Faculty Bookshelf

Riceoeur on Time and Narrative: An Introduction to Temps Et Recit
University of Notre Dame Press, 2011

William C. Dowling

Riceoeur on Time and Narrative: An Introduction to Temps Et Recit

“The object of this book,” writes William C. Dowling in his preface, “is to make the key concepts of Paul Ricoeur’s Time and Narrative available to readers who might have felt bewildered by the twists and turns of its argument.” The sources of puzzlement are, he notes, many. For some, it is Ricoeur’s famously indirect style of presentation, in which the polarities of argument and exegesis seem so often and so suddenly to have reversed themselves. For others, it is the extraordinary intellectual range of Ricoeur’s argument, drawing on traditions as distant from each other as Heideggerian existentialism, French structuralism, and Anglo-American analytic philosophy. Yet beneath the labyrinthian surface of Ricoeur’s Temps et récit, Dowling reveals a single extended argument that, though developed unsystematically, is meant to be understood in systematic terms.