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  1. Robert R. Williams

Published Online: 1 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781444367072.wbiee339

The International Encyclopedia of Ethics

How to Cite

Williams, R. R. 2013. Recognition. The International Encyclopedia of Ethics. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 FEB 2013


Paul Ricoeur points out that no theory of recognition exists in the way that one or more theories of knowledge or truth exist. This absence of theoretical insight stands in contrast to the coherence that allows the word “recognition” to appear in a dictionary as a single lexical unit. Lest anyone think that the term “recognition” has some obvious coherent sense, Ricoeur asks, “What do Kant's synthesis of recognition in transcendental deduction, Bergson's account of reconnaissance as the mnemonic act par excellence, and Hegel's account of Anerkennen as a process that culminates in an ‘I' that is a ‘We' have in common?” (2005: 18).


  • agency;
  • continental philosophy;
  • freedom;
  • philosophy;
  • practical reason;
  • rights