To Look at Things as if They Could Be Otherwise: Educating the Imagination

Open access

Abstract

In this article I would like to argue that Paul Ricoeur can show us how a text matters in its ability to educate the imagination which, in turn, has the capacity to bring about change. The context of my argument is health care, the texts of concern are those written by a health care provider, Rachel Naomi Remen, and the subjects to be educated and transformed include the individual readers (e.g. students) and, ultimately, healthcare students and professionals alike. As a physician herself Remen configures both a personal story of her being healed and her professional story of providing care, in order to imagine new ways to health and healing more holistically. This holistic approach integrates the mind, body and spirit in the healing process. I gain support for applying Ricoeur’s theory of the imagination to Remen’s texts from Richard Kearney and Maxine Greene. Kearney and Greene focus on the productive role of the imagination for its transformative power within their own academic contexts of philosophy and of education, respectively. I gain from their extension of Ricoeurian and imaginative thinking to the texts of health care to look at healthcare as if it could be otherwise.

Anderson Sathe, Laurie. “Female Health Care Professionals: Writing Narratives and Producing Knowledge.” Diss. University of St. Thomas, 2004. Print.

Greene, Maxine. Releasing the Imagination. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1995. Print.

Kearney, Richard. On Stories. London: Routledge, 2002. Print.

---. “Paul Ricoeur and the Hermeneutic Imagination in the Narrative Path: The Later Works of Paul Ricoeur.” Philosophy & Social Criticism 14.2 (1988): 115-45. Print.

---. The Wake of the Imagination. Abingdon: Routledge, 1998. Print Remen, Rachel Naomi. “Educating for Mission, Meaning and Compassion.” The Heart of Learning: Spirituality in Education. Ed. Steven Glazer. New York: Penguin, 1999. 33-50. Print.

---. Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories That Heal. New York: Berkley, 2006. Print.

Ricoeur, Paul. From Text to Action: Essays in Hermeneutics, II. Trans. Kathleen Blamey and John B. Thompson. Evanston: Northwestern UP, 1991: 3-4. Print.

---. Hermeneutics and the Human Sciences. Ed. John B. Thompson. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1989. Print.

---. “Herméneutique de l’idée de révélation.” La Révélation. Brussels: Facultés Universitaires Saint-Louis, 1977. 54. Print.

---. “Life in Quest of Narrative.” On Paul Ricoeur: Narrative and Interpretation. Ed. David Wood. London: Routledge, 1991. 22-33. Print.

---. Time and Narrative, I. Trans. Kathleen Blamey and David Pellauer. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1983. Print.

Text Matters

A Journal of Literature, Theory and Culture; The Journal of University of Lodz

Journal Information

CiteScore 2018: 0.12

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.126
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.602

Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 213 161 11
PDF Downloads 82 63 4