In this volume, Paul Ricoeur investigates the antinomy between history and truth, or between historicity and meaning. He argues that history has meaning insofar as it approaches universality and system, but has no meaning insofar as this universality violates the singularity of individuals' lives. Imposing unity upon truth, or unifying the diversity of knowledge and opinion, creates a singular and universal history but destroys historicity and subjectivity. Allowing for singularities in history promotes a multiplicity of truths over a single, unique truth, and thereby annihilates system.
Paul Ricoeur (1913-2005) is the author of numerous books, including History and Truth, The Conflict of Interpretations, From Text to Action, Freedom and Nature, and Husserl. These five titles are being reissued by Northwestern University Press with new forewords. Charles A. Kelbley is an associate professor of philosophy at Fordham University. He is the translator of a number of Ricoeur's works. David M. Rasmussen is the author of many books and collected editions, incuding one of the first on Paul Ricoeur: Mythic-Symbolic Language and Philosophical Anthropology: A Constructive Interpretation of the Thought of Paul Ricoeur.