Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Stanley Harrison, Sebastian Luft
This dissertation discusses friendship in relation to self-identity in the thought of Paul Ricoeur. Its main claim is that Ricoeur's notion of self-identity designates a hermeneutically mediated experience, and that this complex experience can only be illumined by a phenomenology that is sensitive to ethical aspects. Another finding is that, according to Ricoeur, whatever we do, say, or write, takes on the form of narrative experience. Finally, the dissertation shows that what looks like the force of the discourse, driving author to reader, and readers to one another, is in fact the force of philia, and that the latter is a source that nourishes practical wisdom exercised in relations with others. The call to friendship is a call to esteem for the being-like-me, a call to recognize a likeness beyond question and doubt, which relates selfhood and alterity, sameness and difference.