Friday, May 16, 2008

Ricoeur 穢れ 汚れ

Ricoeur, Evil as Stain 祓(はら)い 穢れ 汚れ 参照

Finitude et culpabilité 1: L'Homme faillible [Philosophie de la volonté II], Aubier, 1960.
Finitude et culpabilité 2: La symbolique du mal [Philosophie de la volonté II], Aubier, 1960.
『意志の哲学』第2部第2巻。解釈学の実験的な始まり。なお、全3部の予定だった意志の哲学は、ここで中断される。邦訳は分冊されており、『悪のシンボリズム』『悪の神話』。原著は現在 L'Homme faillible と合冊され、1巻本で購入可能

『意志的なものと非意志的なもの』全3巻(滝浦静雄, 竹内修身, 箱石匡行(*第1巻のみ), 中村文郎(第2, 3巻のみ) 訳), 紀伊國屋書店, 1993-1995.
Le volontaire et l'involontaire(1950)を3分冊した全訳。第1巻『決意すること』、第2巻『行動すること』、第3巻『同意すること』
『人間この過ちやすきもの――有限性と有罪性』(久重忠夫 訳), 以文社, 1978.
L'Homme faillible(1960)の全訳。現在絶版
『悪のシンボリズム』(植島啓司, 佐々木陽太郎 訳), 渓声社, 1977.
『悪の神話』(一戸とおる ほか訳), 渓声社, 1980.
La symbolique du mal(1960)を2分冊した全訳。いずれも現在絶版 by Levy, Sandra M

As I described in an earlier article, 15 Ricoeur traces the development of symbols of evil,16 from their most archaic form to their elaborated expression in mythic structure. Starting with the most primitive level, archaic symbols of evil take the form of defilement, of stain and contamination coming from without, subjectively followed by fault and dread of annihilation for breaching the taboo. Development of symbolic consciousness unfolds as the language of sin, guilt, expiation and redemption emerges within an encompassing mythic structure, culminating in an eschatological movement toward love and mercy.

But Ricoeur argues that the most archaic symbols of evil (stain and the metaphor of defilement) are retained through the whole chain of symbolic development, from the most primitive experience of guilt for having breached the forbidden, to the most systematically developed myths of eschatological redemption and perfection. "Thus, alongside the developing subjectivity associated with responsible and faulty agency, the experience of guilt retains the archaic sense of contamination and seizure from without."17 He also argues that the meaning of stain and defilement even in primitive human societies is never purely physical, but always serves humans dwelling within these societies as symbols. And as symbols, stain and defilement always remain multipotent and opaque, with multiple layers of meaning.

Murder and the Rite of Purification

For Ricoeur, stain and defilement are distinct. Defilement is symbolic of stain. He says, a stain is a stain, because it is there, it happens, it is mute. But a defilement enters the human world through speech, through communication, through definition, through pointing at and naming. Ricoeur takes the case of murder as the model or limit case in this regard. Blood is spilt in murder, and the shed blood stains. However, the defilement arising from the staining by bloodshed is more than physical staining, because this impurity is not washed away by the water that cleans the carpet.

Thus, Ricoeur argues that the murderer bears defilement within, but this taint is not a stain that exists outside a social frame of reference, outside a social world that constructs and expresses meaning through language. "A man is defiled in the sight of certain men, in the language of certain men. Only he is defiled who is regarded as defiled; a law is required to say it; the interdict is itself a defining utterance."18 And for Ricoeur, it is the connection between a primitive sense of defilement and the words that define it which makes clear the symbolic nature of punishing acts that become social rituals. So the "interdiction" that banishes the accused from the public sphere, on a deeper level symbolizes the exclusion of the one defiled from sacred, albeit public space. "After the judgment, the criminal is afflicted with even graver interdictions which annul, so to speak, him and his defilement. Exile and death are such annulments of the defiled and of defilement."19 Thus, the criminal is not simply excluded from a public area of contact, but he (or she) is banished from our social environment by the law, and annulled as one who is now defiled.

14 P. Ricoeur, The Symbolism of Evil (Boston: Beacon Press, 1969).

15 S. Levy, "Coleridge's `Rime of the Ancient Mariner': Theodicy in a New Key,"Anglican Theological Review, LXXVIII (1996), p. 211.

16 It is unclear from Ricoeur's writings whether these archaic symbols and structures of consciousness are "hard wired" in the human species and hence, universal, similar to Carl Jung's notion of collective unconscious, or whether at least in part such products of consciousness are learned and shaped by culture. Although the answer to this nature/nurture question has bearing on the problem considered here, the answer goes well beyond the scope of this paper.

17 Ibid., p. 211. 18 Ricoeur, p. 36. is Ibid., pp. 39-41.

20 Ibid., p.44.

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