Identities and prejudice: an essay from the thought of Paul Ricoeur

According to the French philosopher Paul Ricoeur (1913-2005) there are two types of identities: idem and ipse. The first belongs to logic, which means what is objectified, whether in the field of the abstract or in the concrete one. For example: “A” is equal to “A”, which is different from what is not “A”. However, when the identity turns into a human one, which is the same as ours, we refer to the second type. In the ipse identity, what we try to equate is the “I” with the “I”; in other words: the one who manifests himself (who is public) with the one who is a representation of “himself” (intimacy), in an incessant search per unit, a kind of superimposition of the “I” with the “I” of “itself”. However, the “I” of “itself” has differences from the “I” since our intimacy is not identical to our outer “I”. This antagonism of ourselves makes us distant from the objectification and makes us part of a transition, part of a subjective construction. “A” will always be equal to “A”, regardless the time and geography, since the “I” will or will not be equal to “I”, depending on the time and geography. (...)

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