Fr. Luis S. David, S.J. tackling post-modernism from philosophers such as Paul Ricoeur and Michael Foucault in the Paul Ricoeur conference spearheaded by UST and Ateneo de Manila University. Photo by M. T. Provido

November 21, 2015, 1:13 p.m. – AS A TESTAMENT to Paul Ricoeur’s influence in modern philosophy, scholars from around the world held lectures on the late French philosopher’s views in a philosophy conference spearheaded by UST and Ateneo de Manila University.

Three Ricoeurian scholars, namely Boyd Blundell, Roger Savage, and Cristal Huang discussed the writings of the late French philosopher on religion on  the second day of the conference.

Blundell, from Loyola University of the United States, demonstrated how Ricoeur’s works provided a path to understanding the connection between philosophy and theology. This became the basis of his 2011 book, “Paul Ricoeur between Theology and Philosophy: Detour and Return.”

The University of California’s Savage meanwhile emphasized the power of imagination and creativity of an individual. Ricoeur had argued that Western philosophy tended to focus on the “reproductive imagination” or a copy of reality, rather than “productive imagination.”

Huang, a philosophy professor at Soochow University in Taiwan, discussed how emotions play an important part of life and in distinguishing between God and religion.

Ricoeur, known for his hermeneutics or text interpretation in Christian theology, urged people to use a different way of understanding the bible, such as recognizing biblical characters like mythological characters.

Three Thomasians were selected to present their papers on Ricouer’s works. Jovito Cariño, a faculty member at the Department of Philosophy, focused on the impact of Christianity on the modern age, while Graduate School student Jecko Bello discussed secularism’s benefit to society.

Jessie Joshua Lino, who finished philosophy in UST, highlighted how recognition and capacity play an important role in politics based on Ricoeur’s book “Becoming Capable, Being Recognized.”

On the first day of the conference, Department of Philosophy Chairman Paolo Bolaños and Prof. Jove Jim Aguas presented their papers at the Ateneo.

Ricoeur is known for combining phenomenological description with hermeneutics or text interpretation and philosophical anthropology. He is deemed as one of the most important 21st century philosophers due to his interpretations of mythology, Christian theology, psychoanalysis, phenomenology and continental philosophy. 

The three-day conference, which ends today, was held in celebration of Ricoeur’s 10th death anniversary. Lectures were held at Ateneo de Manila’s Escaler Hall on the first day, while UST hosted the second and third days at the Buenaventura G. Paredes, O.P. building. R. A. DR. Narra


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