L’homme agissant and Self-understanding: Pamela Sue Anderson on Capability and Vulnerability

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.18778/2083-2931.10.01

Keywords:

capability, self-understanding, Pamela Sue Anderson, Paul Ricœur, vulnerability

Abstract

This article addresses Pamela Sue Anderson’s philosophy of capability and vulnerability as an important contribution to the advancement of today’s feminist ethics. Following Paul Ricœur’s hermeneutics of l’homme capable, Anderson extends the phenomenological perspective of the capable human subject to embrace the distinctly feminine capability. She advocates for women’s recognizing and re-inventing of themselves as capable subjects, and claims that the perturbing initial loss of confidence in their reflective capacities can be redeemed via the transformations in women’s emotional and religious lives, as well as through their creative impulse. Locating in hermeneutics’ openness to ambiguity, incompleteness and insecurity a potential to unveil the non-transparent aspects of the assumed male-female equality, Anderson focuses on the interlocking aspect of human capability and vulnerability. She calls for transforming an ignorance of vulnerability into an ethical avowal of it. In reconfiguring patriarchal culture myths, Anderson sees the possibility of re-shaping our approach to vulnerability and capability, especially the human capacity for love.

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Author Biography

Małgorzata Hołda, University of Lodz

Małgorzata Hołda, PhD in British literature (Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń 2006), PhD in philosophy with distinction for dissertation: Paul Ricœur’s Concept of Subjectivity and the Postmodern Claim of the Death of the Subject (The Pontifical University of John Paul II in Krakow), published with Ignatianum University Press, 2018. She has been Junior Associate Fellow of the International Institute for Hermeneutics in Freiburg since 2014. She conducts interdisciplinary research in Anglophone literature and philosophy, exploring topics within modern and postmodern novel, philological and philosophical hermeneutics, phenomenology and postmodern philosophy. Her most recent research concerns Virginia Woolf ’s and Hans-Georg Gadamer’s hermeneutics of the beautiful, as well as Paul Ricœur’s hermeneutics of l’homme capable, and subjectivity. Her publications foster an understanding of hermeneutics as a mode of being.

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Published

2020-11-24

How to Cite

Hołda, M. (2020). L’homme agissant and Self-understanding: Pamela Sue Anderson on Capability and Vulnerability. Text Matters: A Journal of Literature, Theory and Culture, (10), 7-24. https://doi.org/10.18778/2083-2931.10.01