Death, Futility, and the Proleptic Power of Narrative Ending

Religious Studies 47 (2):141-163 (2011)

Abstract

Death and futility are among a cluster of themes that closely track discussions of life’s meaning. Moreover, futility is thought to supervene on naturalistic meta-narratives because of how they will end. While the nature of naturalistic meta-narrative endings is part of the explanation for concluding that such meta-narratives are cosmically or deeply futile, this explanation is truncated. I argue that the reason the nature of the ending is thought to be normatively important is first anchored in the fact that narrative ending qua ending is thought to be normatively important. Indeed, I think futility is often thought to characterize naturalistic meta-narratives because a narrative’s ending has significant proleptic power to elicit a wide range of broadly normative human responses on, possibly, emotional, aesthetic, and moral levels towards the narrative as a whole.

Download options

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 72,694

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Analytics

Added to PP
2013-03-13

Downloads
60 (#193,806)

6 months
1 (#388,311)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Joshua Seachris
University of Notre Dame

References found in this work

Philosophical Explanations.Robert Nozick - 1981 - Harvard University Press.
Mortal Questions.Thomas Nagel - 1979 - Cambridge University Press.
Narrative Explanation.J. David Velleman - 2003 - Philosophical Review 112 (1):1-25.

Add more references

Citations of this work

The Good Cause Account of the Meaning of Life.Aaron Smuts - 2013 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 51 (4):536-562.
The Meaning of Life (Second Revised Edition).Thaddeus Metz - 2021 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Can Only Human Lives Be Meaningful?Joshua Lewis Thomas - 2018 - Philosophical Papers 47 (2):265-297.

View all 9 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Narrative Pictures.Bence Nanay - 2009 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 67 (1):119 - 129.
Understanding Narrative Explanation: An Eclectic Approach.Björn Eriksson - 2005 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 5 (2):317-344.
Story and Narrative Noticing: Workaholism Autoethnographies.David Boje & Jo A. Tyler - 2009 - Journal of Business Ethics 84 (S2):173 - 194.
The Physician's Authority to Withhold Futile Treatment.Glenn G. Griener - 1995 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 20 (2):207-224.
A Theory of Musical Narrative.Byron Almén - 2008 - Indiana University Press.
Narrative Closure.Noël Carroll - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 135 (1):1 - 15.
On Identifying Narratives.Tone Kvernbekk - 2003 - Studies in Philosophy and Education 22 (3/4):267-279.
“The Whole Story”: On Narrative Philosophy and Religious Morals.Louis Ruprecht - 2010 - Comparative and Continental Philosophy 2 (2):157-177.