The Negation of Happiness

4 Sep 2012 Dr Alison Scott-Baumann. Details Ricoeur lectured for over twenty years on negation (‘do I understand something better if I know what it is not, and what is not-ness?’) but never published his writings on this subject. His work on negation creates deep subterranean springs that nourish his subsequent development of dialectics. Ricoeur also found his study of negation in Greek philosophy valuable for demonstrating his belief that much modern and postmodern philosophy and structuralism is shallow and dry. His search to understand and help us to improve our lives is suffused with his conviction that negative thought is necessary but not sufficient; what is also required is some sort of affirmation that we know we are split by contradictions and nevertheless try to overcome them. Dr Scott-Baumann’s research draws on previously unavailable archival material, and she will challenge his views by reference to Spinoza, Hegel, Kant, Kierkegaard, Sartre, Deleuze and others.