This book provides a perceptive analysis of the "narrative turn" that led Paul Ricoeur to his magisterial work Time and Narrative. Ricoeur has for many years explored the intersections of diverse strands of European philosophy, but it is his recent work that has attracted the most discussion and engendered the most debate in Europe and America. The Narrative Path explores the roots and meaning of that work.Two of the book's five essays reach back to Ricoeur's earlier work to clarify his themes: Richard Kearney concentrates on the role of imagination in hermeneuties, and Maria Villela Petit explores the development of Ricoeur's concept of history from History and Truth to Time and Narrative. Two essays analyze the significance of Ricoeur's reflections on metaphoric and narrative language: Serge Mellinger looks at the relationship between time and poetry from the point of view of Ricoeur's discussions of the connection between time and narrative, and T. Peter Kemp extends Ricoeur's analysis to argue that narration is indispensable to ethics. The book concludes with a reflection by Ricoeur himself on the linguistic, practical, and ethical dimensions of human beings, and with a bibliography of Ricoeur's work in English.
The Narrative Path is based on a special issue of the journal Philosophy and Social Criticism, edited by David Rasmussen.