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The Subject As Actor

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Chapter Summary

To explore the contribution Ricoeur’s philosophy can make to the issues in Touraine’s social theory, this chapter examines his analyses in Oneself as Another under the three headings the author used to explore Touraine’s argument in Critique of Modernity. The chapter first finds that Ricoeur’s critique of the analytic philosophy of action throws new light on the logic of self-negation which has afflicted the idea of action. Then, it discovers in his elucidation of the acting subject themes which offer means for extending Touraine’s highly suggestive, but one-sidedly elaborated conception. Finally, the chapter finds that Ricoeur’s analyses of the network of socially constructed and culturally mediated practices that constitute the context of human action offers insights which shed light on both the underlying premises of Touraine’s new conceptual infrastructure, and the sources of its expanded capacity to conceptualise human agency and social creativity.

Keywords: Alain Touraine; analytic philosophy of action; Paul Ricoeur; rationalism critique; social creativity



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