La question de l’autre. Un dialogue entre Tzvetan Todorov et l’herméneutique


Abstract: This article constructs a dialogue between Todorov and philosophical hermeneutics on the question of the other. Todorov does not refer to the tradition of philosophical hermeneutics, although he deals with similar questions (understanding of oneself, of the other, interpretation, communication). First, the other is interior to the self: Ricoeur for example speaks of ‘oneself as another’. Second, men share ‘a common world’ (Todorov), which Heidegger described as ‘being‐with‐others’ (Mitsein): here the other is understood as another person. Third, the interpretation of texts also raises the question of the other, although he is present here only in an indirect manner: self‐understanding is possible only through the mediation of symbols and texts (Ricoeur). The interpretation of texts can be seen as a dialogue between text and interpreter. Forth, the other is the ‘stranger’. For example Gadamer’s concept of ‘fusion of horizons’ can also be read as a dialogue between cultures. On this point, Todorov’s work is of great help: in The Conquest of America, which he defines as a reflection on interpretation and communication, he deals in particular with the interpretation of cultures. The final aim of this paper is to highlight the hermeneutical dimension of Todorov’s work and his role as a mediator between cultures.

Keywords: Todorov, Herméneutique, Compréhension de soi, Compréhension de l’autre, Interprétation, Littérature, Culture