Ricœur’s concept of the fault [la faute] is broad, and neither French nor English provides a term which would do it full justice. It expresses the basic awareness that all is not right with the world, that existence as I live it is always a flawed existence. This is the awareness expressed in symbols of evil and myths of the fall, in the Platonic myth of the world running backwards, as well as in the philosophical concepts of the fall or of the bondage of passions. Using the term in its broadest sense (rather than in Ricœur’s own more restricted, clinical sense), we can say that the concept of the fault points to the pathological distortion of existence.

Erazim V. Kohák; introduction to Freedom and Nature: The Voluntary and the Involuntary, by Paul Ricœur
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