Paul Ricoeur on Hope

Expecting the Good

by Rebecca K. Huskey (Author)
©2009 Monographs VIII, 216 Pages
Series: Phenomenology and Literature, Volume 6


In order to examine fully the nature of human beings, Paul Ricoeur crossed disciplinary boundaries in his work, moving from phenomenology to social and political thought, hermeneutics, and ethics. Running throughout Ricoeur’s work – particularly Fallible Man, Time and Narrative, Oneself as Another, and his shorter pieces on hermeneutics, ethics, and religion – is a theme of the human capacity for hope. According to Ricoeur, hope is a capacity of expectation, oriented toward some future action, which aims at a good for self and others. The conditions for the possibility of hope are the unity and difference that exist within the self in transcendental, practical, and effective realms, and the self’s ability to narrate, which is made possible by the self’s existence within, and understanding of, time. Our capacity for hope is understood via the symbols of good and evil found in myths and sacred writings. Furthermore, hope is not limited to those who are religious; atheists may be just as hopeful as the devout. Exploring the nature of hope in Ricoeur’s work allows for a greater understanding of hope and a greater ability to cultivate hope in oneself and others.


VIII, 216
ISBN (Hardcover)
philosophy hermeneutics hope religion Ricoeur, Paul Hoffnung Religionsphilosophie philosophy, hermeneutics, hope, religion
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien, 2009. VIII, 216 pp.

Biographical notes

Rebecca K. Huskey (Author)

The Author: Rebecca K. Huskey holds a Ph.D. in religious studies from the University of Iowa. As Assistant Professor of Classics and Letters at the University of Oklahoma, she teaches courses in the history of ideas and does scholarship in the fields of textual interpretation and religion and literature. Her next project is an application of Paul Ricoeur’s thought to the work of American Indian poet and novelist Sherman Alexie.


Title: Paul Ricoeur on Hope