Paul Ricœur and the Social Imaginary. The Instituting and the Instituted
Keywords:Paul Ricœur, Social Imaginary, Ideology and Utopia, Just Institutions, Cornelius Castoriadis
This essay’s claim is that we do not understand the nature of Paul Ricœur’s approach to social and political life unless we comprehend his advocacy of the integral role to this life of the social imaginary. The essay proceeds in two parts. The first part concentrates on how Ricœur’s Lectures on Ideology and Utopia develops the themes of ideology and utopia, revealing the inextricability to social and political life of the social imaginary as the symbolic mediation of action. The second part turns to attend how a positive notion of the social imaginary can be perpetuated over time and examines Ricœur’s attention to ʻjust institutionsʼ. The two parts could be read as a dual assessment of the social and political imagination, both as ʻinstitutingʼ and as ʻinstitutedʼ.