Bijdragen: Tijdschrift voor Filosofie en Theologie vol:68 pages:252-276
In this article, I present the concept of narrative in Ricoeur’s thinking as an epistemological tool that grants access to the meaning of human being. For Ricoeur, a narrative is meaningful when it is understood as an articulation of time as a dimension of our being. By articulating time humans express their very existence as humans and have access to the meaning of it. The narrative, as an epistemological path to this meaning, also has ontological implications. The dimension of narrativity is then not only a tool for epistemological reflection, but also the (ontological) milieu of our existence. The narrative as epistemological ‘detour’ becomes a structural element of being. Thus human beings find themselves in a paradoxical position of distance and involvement. Consequently, a firm and stable ontology can no longer be reached. Rather, ontology operates from out of a dynamical concept of being in which the contribution of language should be considered. I conclude this article by pointing to Ricoeur’s emphasis on language and narrative, resulting from his linguistic turn, and leading him to onto-logy.