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Myth and history, gilt and debt: a comparative study of Paul Ricoeurs and Walter Benjamins philosophy of history

Grant number: 17/22463-3
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research
Effective date (Start): February 01, 2018
Effective date (End): July 31, 2018
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Philosophy - History of Philosophy
Valor Concedido/Desembolsado (R$): 78,786.70 / 78,786.70
Principal Investigator:Jeanne Marie Gagnebin de Bons
Grantee:Jeanne Marie Gagnebin de Bons
Host Investigator: Marc Boss
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Comunicação, Letras e Artes. Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo (PUC-SP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: Fonds Ricoeur, France  

Abstract

This research departs from a finding elaborated in many texts and courses I dealt with in the last years, to wit, the very similar enunciation (in what regards the relationship to the past) of Walter Benjamin's and Paul Ricoeur's historiography. The first similarities are connected with the demand, which is common to both, for an active remembrance of the dead and the « defeated », a remembrance which can be described, according to Michel de Certeau, as the task of « burying the dead », a « ritual of burial ». The main texts which deal with this question are the famous theses « Concerning the concept of history », from Walter Benjamin, and Paul Ricoeur's « La mémoire, l'histoire, l'oubli » (2000). However, both are not in agreement when it comes to the relation of the present towards the tradition (Ricoeur), or the transmission (Benjamin) of the past. Thus we see manifested not only the different philosophical affiliations of both, but also - and this is precisely my present question - a profound incompatibilty. If Benjamin advocates another type of historiography, discontinued and critical - because, under Marx's terms, dominant history is the history of domination -, Ricoeur, on his turn, acknowledges a positive continuity which binds and obligates to the past. The present resarch will depart from the hypothesis that both philosophers have a diametrically opposed relation to the concept (of Nietzschean orign) of Schuld, which denotes simultaneously guilt and debt. The precise focus of the present reseach lies, therefore, on the explicitation of Ricoeur's and Benjamin's relation to the concept of Schuld, that is, to Nietzsche, and thus on the attempt at point out the philosophical (and political) consequences of such divergence. (AU)

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