Arquivo para February 29th, 2024

The partner and the next

29 Feb

The concrete relationship of social friendship is only effective in each neighbor, the idea of ​​generalizing social attitudes can be inserted into a culture, but it will only be effective if in the relationship with each person with whom we interact it becomes effective, otherwise it is discourse and ideology.

Paul Ricoeur’s text “The partner and the neighbor”, which is part of the book “History and Truth” not only modifies the concept of historical truth but also reveals that there is only a concrete social relationship to the extent that we are part of our various social circles and to each concrete personal relationship.

Continuous selfishness, prejudice opens the soul into abysses of separation with the Other, makes it a continuum of separation, exclusion leading to disbelief in love and social solidarity.

Changing our attitude, transforming selfishness into gestures of kindness and living in each specific relationship a love that is even superhuman that gives dignity and respect to each being that passes by us, is not altruism or a way of ignoring social conflicts, it is also raising the soul to a stage of happiness with others, and spreading hope.

While the partner relationship is only of personal interest, the partner relationship goes beyond these limits and increases the level of trust, inclusion and different approach to the partner:

When discussing the difference between these relationships, he discusses charity: “Charity does not need to be where it appears; Also hidden in the humble and abstract post office is social security; it is often the hidden part of the social”, Paul Ricoeur in Le socius et le Prochain (1954), and is translated in the 1968 book History and Truth.

The text reminds us that just as institutions can only have corporate relationships, they can also have interpersonal relationships, of affection and solidarity, which make them less cold and less bureaucratic, where we see not a customer or a service more, but a close one in which you may be interested.

I t is not by chance that it is a chapter on History and Truth, because truth is only established between true friends who are close, and if they are partners it will only be to be closer, while maintaining social appearance, even with a spirit of empathy, is not yet the true human relationship if the personal one is not realized in a concrete way.

Thus, social friendship must necessarily involve true love for each person who passes by our side.


Ricoeur, P. : História e Verdade, trans. F. A. Ribeiro. Companhia Editora Forense: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.