Hermeneutic, Comparative, and Syncretic Philosophy: Or, On Ricoeurian, Confucian and Aztec Philosophy

Sebastian Purcell


Hermeneutic philosophy, and Paul Ricoeur’s formulation of hermeneutics in particular, faces a serious challenge, not from external sources, but from internal proponents of the program. In what might be called the Collapse Challenge, Ricoeur’s understanding of the hermeneutic circle is criticized for making use of structuralist methods that are no longer considered viable. Rather than look to replace Ricoeur’s work with an external model, the present essay draws on his late model of translation to suggest two viable paths forward beyond the Collapse Challenge. To develop these paths, the essay gives two concrete cases, one using Confucian philosophy, which is comparative, another using Aztec philosophy, which is syncretic.


Hermeneutics; Ricoeur; Confucius; Aztecs; World Philosophy; Heidegger

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/jffp.2020.935

Copyright (c) 2020 Sebastian Purcell

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