Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Paul Ricoeur on Dialogue - Dictionary of Arguments

II 16
Dialogue/Ricoeur: My experience cannot directly become your experience. An event belonging to one stream of consciousness cannot be transferred as such into another stream of consciousness. Yet, nevertheless, something passes from me to you. Something is transferred from one sphere of life to another. This something is not the experience as experienced, but its meaning.
The experience as experienced, as lived, remains private, but its sense, its meaning, becomes public. Communication in this way is the overcoming of the radical non-communicability of the lived experience as lived.
Dialogue: is an event which connects two events, that of speaking and that of hearing. It is to this dialogical event that understanding as meaning is homogeneous. Hence the question: what aspects of discourse itself are meaningfully communicated in the event of dialogue?
The content: Because the sense of a sentence is, so to speak, „external“ to the sentence it can be transferred; this exteriority of discourse to itself— which is synonymous with the self-transcendence
of the event in its meaning—opens discourse to the other. >Communication, >Sense/Ricoeur.
II 18
Intention: The intention does have a psychological aspect which is experienced as such only by the speaker. In the promise, for example, there is a commitment; in an assertion, a belief; in a wish,
a want; etc., which constitute the psychological condition of the speech act, if we follow John Searle's analysis.(1) But these "mental acts" (Peter Geach) are not radically incommunicable. Their intention implies the intention of being recognized, therefore the intention of the other's intention. This intention of being identified, acknowledged, and recognized as such by the other is part of the intention itself. In the vocabulary of Husserl, we could say that it is the noetic in the psychic.
The criterion of the noetic is the intention of communicability, the expectation of recognition in the intentional act itself. The noetic is the soul of discourse as dialogue.
II 19
Event: This reciprocity of intentions is the event of dialogue. The bearer of this event is the "grammar" of recognition included in the intended meaning.
II 21
[The] notion of bringing experience to language is the ontological condition of reference, an ontological condition reflected within language as a postulate which has not immanent justification; the postulate according to which we presuppose the existence of singular things which we identify.


1. John Searle, Speech Acts: An Essay in the Philosophy of Language (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1969).


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Ricoeur I
Paul Ricoeur
De L’interprétation. Essai sur Sigmund Freud
German Edition:
Die Interpretation. Ein Versuch über Freud Frankfurt/M. 1999

Ricoeur II
Paul Ricoeur
Interpretation theory: discourse and the surplus of meaning Fort Worth 1976


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2021-06-21
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