Silvia Pierosara

The guiding hypothesis of this essay lies in the persuasion that Ricoeur’s philosophy can be placed within the horizon of modernity, by modernity meaning a normative instance rather than a historiographical category. The normative core of such modernity is the indispensability of the ideas of person and freedom. This hypothesis is explored through some Ricoeurian reflections concerning collective identities and their capability of “making” history: these reflections are a privileged and aporetic observatory. Thus, this contribution provides a reconstruction of the complex articulation of collective identities in Ricoeur, through which some unfinished paths will emerge. Collective identities will be recognized as practical identities and the implications of this definition will be made explicit. According to Ricoeur, collective identities can be considered as tasks and projects; they can be analyzed as related to social imaginaries; they can be seen as narrative identities. Moreover, collective identities are the actors of change in history. In order to focus on collective identities, a comparison between Ricoeur and Castoriadis will be provided. Like Ricoeur, Castoriadis distances himself from some postmodern critiques to the concept of subject. Moreover, he defends human freedom against any determinism. The essay is divided into two main sections: in the first, it focuses on collective identities as practical identities through a threefold path which explores the idea of identity as a task, its connection to social imaginaries, its narrative fabric; in the second, it analyzes the concept of history from the standpoint of collective identities, in order to highlight Ricoeur’s trust in the possibility of changing history and reducing suffering.

Una modernità ben temperata
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