5. The Reality of Life: Temporality
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Reality is linguistic. The language of reality is metaphor. Metaphor re-describes human life. This chapter explores how Ricoeur’s idea of the real redescribes human life. By inquiring into his concepts of creative imagination and narrative hope, I shall demonstrate how the real redescribes existence and opens fresh possibilities. I will demonstrate the extent and the limit of this newly possible life, along with its importance for self-understanding here and now. One understands oneself as one understands the total possibility of being. The discovery of human life in this way is a constant pursuit of possibility through self-knowledge.
Hope: The Basis of Temporality
Ricoeur is a postmodern “philosopher of hope.”1 The notion of hope is the key to his whole anthropological enterprise. The force that stimulates his entire reflective thought is the “passion for the possible,”2 which in essence is hope filled with promises for human life. He conceives this passion as an intense human drive for the “existential possibilities of man’s being.”3 He labels these possibilities as the “fundamental possibilities” and “structures” of human beings.4 Ricoeur’s concept of hope consists of a “passion” that motivates humans to strive for a possible life; it consists of an “energy,” which is the creative imagination that figures out a new existential structure as a human possibility; and it involves a component of “time,” that connects the imaginative world into an existentially possible world. This ← 101 | 102 → implies that all passionate humans can be...
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