An examination of the genre of philosophical autobiography sheds light on the role of personal judgment alongside objective rationality in philosophy. Building on Monk's conception of philosophical biography, philosophical autobiography can be seen as any autobiography that reveals some interplay between life and thought. It is argued that almost all autobiographies by philosophers are philosophical because the recounting of one's own life is almost invariably a form of extended speech act of self-revelation. When a philosopher is the autobiographer, this self-revelation illuminates the interplay between thought, life, and personality. Understanding how this works allows us to address three problems of biography raised by Honderich: how to give an account of something as large and complex as a human life; how a life-story is also a judgment; and how we can justify identifying one part of a causal circumstance as 'the cause'. There is also a new ethical problem raised about the autobiographer's right to make public details of a shared private life
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/002017402760258141
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 72,607
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The View From Nowhere.Thomas Nagel - 1986 - Oxford University Press.
The View From Nowhere.Thomas Nagel - 1986 - Behaviorism 15 (1):73-82.
The view from nowhere.Thomas Nagel - 1986 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 178 (2):221-222.

View all 24 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
75 ( #157,168 of 2,533,634 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #389,998 of 2,533,634 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes