Making Sense of History with Paul Ricœur and Jan Patočka: From the Past, In the Present, Toward the Future

Maria Cristina Clorinda Vendra


Paul Ricœur and Jan Patočka are considered among the most important phenomenologists of the 20th century. As with Ricœur, Patočka’s philosophy is shaped by an enduring critical confrontation with Husserl’s phenomenology and Heidegger’s phenomenological analyses of Dasein. The present paper aims at analyzing Ricœur’s and Patočka’s convergences and mutual inspirations in their perspectives on the topic of history. More precisely, I will take up the question of the meaning of history in Ricœur and Patočka as profoundly influenced by their readings of Husserl’s Krisis. Then, the attention will be turned to Ricœur’s concept of historicity and Patočka’s notion of care of the soul as concerns involved in the search for meaning in history as an open-ended mediation. In this context, I will discuss Ricœur’s and Patočka’s critical examination of Heidegger’s conception of thrownness (Geworfenheit) and projection (Entwerfen), that is, Dasein’s already-being-in-the-world and its disclosedness, as necessary concepts for understanding their own philosophical approaches to history.


Patočka; Ricœur; history; meaning; historicity; care

Full Text:



Copyright (c) 2021 Maria Cristina Clorinda Vendra

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.