Paul Ricoeur, visual hermeneutics and political science: An ‘incompatible relation’?

Nikos Kaplantzis

Abstract


As a response to calls for political research to do more than refer to visuals and for visual research to focus on the political, this paper discusses a Ricoeurian narrative-communicative action approach to the construction of political space applied to images, even though, until today, very little attention has been given to Ricoeur’s conception of the relationship between hermeneutics and visual theory. An updated reworking of Paul Ricoeur's critical hermeneutics offers a better basis for reconstructing visual (political) studies by sharpening the focus on the ideas of embodied imaginary and iconic augmentation. Ricoeur offers an explicit connection to visual political studies in the direction of pointing out the ways in which images, scenes, and narratives attempt to convey ideology, balancing a hermeneutics of suspicion with a hermeneutics of faith, illustrating the aporias, the opening and closing of possibilities from iconic image to ideograph and identity.

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ISSN 2398-0532