Paul Ricoeur on socio-political imaginaries
What is the role of ideology and utopia in socio-political imaginaries? In his Lectures on ideology and utopia, Paul Ricoeur follows Mannheim in identifying ideology with a depiction of states of affairs that aims at the solidification of the a given status quo, and utopia with attempts to overthrow and radically modify the established social order.
I wish to show how Ricoeur’s insights could be further impregnated through a dialogue with other critical thinkers and especially with Castoriadis, and with the recently emerging “social imaginaries” research programme. Among other things the discussion on imagination allows also for the reconceptualization of the very problématique of rationality and of modernity as the outcome of processes of rationalization/ disenchantment, since it involves a reassessment of the all-important for modernity’s self-understanding distinction between myth and reason.
Angelos Mouzakitis (MA, PhD University of Warwick, UK) is Assistant Professor in Social Theory at the Sociology Department of the University of Crete. He was Jean Monnet Fellow at the European University Institute in Florence (2003-2004). His research and teaching expertise lie in the fields of social theory and contemporary continental philosophy, with specific emphasis on phenomenology and hermeneutics.