Towards a constitutive account of implicit narrativity

Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 15 (1):51-66 (2016)
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The standard reply to the critique that narrative theories of the self are either chauvinistic or trivial is to “go implicit”. Implicit narratives, it is argued, are necessary for diachronically structured self-experience, but do not require that such narratives should be wholly articulable life stories. In this paper I argue that the standard approach, which puts forward a phenomenological conception of implicit narratives, is ultimately unable to get out of the clutches of the dilemma. In its place, I offer an alternative approach that does avoid the dilemma, by construing implicit narrativity as an enabling condition for experiences, rather than as something that is itself present in experience. According to this constitutive account, the coherence and intelligibility of our experiences is due to the fact that they are anchored in a larger, diachronic context. This context, I argue, takes a fundamentally embodied and narrative dimension



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Fleur Jongepier
Radboud University Nijmegen

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