Creation and renunciation in Ricoeur’s political ethics of compromise

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Ricoeur interpreted the work of compromise as a creative process to imagine a new world by projecting ourselves into other people. The challenge of compromise is to learn to tell our own story differently within the contours of a broader collective narrative, in compliance with the paradigm of translation. As such, Ricoeur’s political ethics of compromise is at risk of highlighting the element of creation, which refers to the social imagination of a shared vision of a better society, at the cost of recognition of the element of renunciation, which refers to the reciprocal shelving of ideas and desires that the other side considers to be truly intolerable. However, I argue that we can read a delicate connection between forgetting, forgoing and forgiving in Ricoeur’s thought. It is,
then, the model of forgiveness, as part of the paradigm of translation, that gives due respect to the importance of renunciation through the emphasis on the unjustifiable, for which renunciation even cannot suffice. The ‘poetics of pardon’ brings creation and renunciation together and, by doing so, it highlights that compromise always remains an object of hope.
Original languageEnglish
Article number0191453720972746
Pages (from-to)813-832
Number of pages20
JournalPhilosophy and Social Criticism
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2022


  • Paul Ricoeur
  • compromise
  • forgiveness
  • paradigm of translation
  • political paradox
  • social imagination


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