Paul Ricoeur

Paul Ricoeur

Birth
Valence, Departement de la Drôme, Rhône-Alpes, France
Death 27 May 2005 (aged 92)
Chatenay-Malabry, Departement des Hauts-de-Seine, Île-de-France, France
Burial Chatenay-Malabry, Departement des Hauts-de-Seine, Île-de-France, France
Memorial ID 11072366 · View Source
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Philosopher. Considered one of the most distinguished philosophers of his generation, he published extensively on subjects ranging from structuralism, theology and phenomenology to psychoanalysis and hermeneutics. He was principally concerned with what is arguably the greatest philosophical theme - the meaning of life. He was best known for his work in the field of phenomenology, the study of how perceptions of events shape a person's reality. Born Jean Paul Gustave Ricoeur in Valence, in south-east France, his mother died while he was an infant and his father died during World War I after which Ricoeur was raised by an aunt in Rennes. A gifted student, he studied Philosophy at the University of Rennes and won a scholarship to the Sorbonne in 1934. Initially planned to become a school teacher but was drafted into the French Army during WWII; his unit was captured by the Germans and he spent five years as a POW. He and his fellow prisoners organised reading classes and seminars, and he studied extensively, notably Jaspers, Heidegger and Husserl, all of whom influenced his later work. Academic standards were so high in the camp that it was accredited as a degree-granting institution by the Vichy government. Ricoeur was later awarded the Croix de Guerre. After the war he was appointed a lecturer in the history of philosophy at the University of Strasbourg, remaining until 1956 when he became chair of General Philosophy at the Sorbonne; in 1965 he moved from the Sorbonne to the newly-founded University of Nanterre; disappointed at Nantere, he accepted a position in 1970 at Chicago University where he became interested in American philosophy and social science and published several books including "The Rule of Metaphor" (1975) and the three-volume "Time and Narrative" (1983-85). He finally retired in 1985. Published over 20 books, the last one was "Memory, History, Forgetting" in 2004. Also in 2004, he and U.S. historian Jaroslav Pelikan shared Kluge prize, set up in 2003 to honor achievement in fields not covered by the Nobel prizes. He had also received the Grand Prize in Philosophy from Academie Francaise in France. Died of natural causes, at home in Chatenay-Malabry, France.

Bio by: Fred Beisser


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Fred Beisser
  • Added: 1 Jun 2005
  • Find a Grave Memorial 11072366
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Paul Ricoeur (27 Feb 1913–27 May 2005), Find a Grave Memorial no. 11072366, citing Cimetière Nouveau de Châtenay-Malabry, Chatenay-Malabry, Departement des Hauts-de-Seine, Île-de-France, France ; Maintained by Find A Grave .