Does the presidency of Emmanuel Macron – a centrist who wants to overcome the left-right divide – show signs of being influenced by Ricoeur?
I find it helpful, in answering this question, to think back over some of the things that have been said in Paris recently about that connection. Olivier Abel, a former director of the Fonds Ricoeur, has made some particularly interesting observations. He suggests that the first place to look for a line of influence is in Macron’s political rhetoric.
“He draws our attention to Macron’s very deliberate repetition of the phrase et en même temps (“and at the same time”) as he announces plans to do two seemingly incompatible things such as liberalising the labour market and protecting those in the most insecure positions.
“For Abel, this rhetorical scheme sits comfortably with Macron’s Ricoeur-inspired ethics of responsibility. He says that Macron continually strives to integrate, into the process of devising political initiatives, a reflection on the way a proposed initiative will impact on vulnerable people.
“Abel uses Ricoeur’s borrowed term, ‘practical wisdom’ to capture the skill involved in this type of policy formation. And he would certainly see Macron as someone with that skill. I think that Abel is right about this.