Ruled Imagination: Representation and Factuality in Historical Knowledge
Investigation;Pier Luigi Lecis
AbstractThis paper aims to show how Paul Ricoeur’s inquiry on memory, trace, and testimony contributes to rebalancing a framework that, at the dialectical level between imagination and representation, would essentially present historians’ work as hermeneutical. In Ricoeur’s later writings, we find a differently balanced perspective by focusing the (neurobiological and psychological) substrate of representation behind trace and memory. Representation precedes interpretation. And neither memory’s fidelity nor history’s epistemic truth belong to a game that would be solely played within the communicative space of a plurality of cognitive agents who are exchanging, controlling and sharing their experiences. Consequently, the reality of the past itself emerges in the practice of memory’s background.
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