Authors
Galen Strawson
University of Texas at Austin
Abstract
I argue against two popular claims. The first is a descriptive, empiri- cal thesis about the nature of ordinary human experience: ‘each of us constructs and lives a “narrative” . . . this narrative is us, our identities’ (Oliver Sacks); ‘self is a perpetually rewritten story . . . in the end, we become the autobiographical narratives by which we “tell about” our lives’ (Jerry Bruner); ‘we are all virtuoso novelists. . . . We try to make all of our material cohere into a single good story. And that story is our autobiography. The chief fictional char- acter . . . of that autobiography is one’s self’ (Dan Dennett). The second is a normative, ethical claim: we ought to live our lives narratively, or as a story; a ‘basic condition of making sense of ourselves is that we grasp our lives in a narrative’ and have an understanding of our lives ‘as an unfolding story’ (Charles Taylor). A person ‘creates his identity [only] by forming an autobiograph- ical narrative – a story of his life’, and must be in possession of a full and ‘explicit narrative [of his life] to develop fully as a person’ (Marya Schechtman).
Keywords Autobiography  Ethics  Language  Narrative  Narrativity
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9329.2004.00264.x
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
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

After Virtue.A. MacIntyre - 1981 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 46 (1):169-171.
The Constitution of Selves.Marya Schechtman (ed.) - 1996 - Cornell University Press.

View all 18 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

The Subject of Experience.Galen Strawson - 2017 - Oxford University Press.
Embodied Narratives.Richard Menary - 2008 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 15 (6):63-84.

View all 196 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Narrativity and the Symbolic Vacuum.Stefan Lukits - 2011 - Philosophy and Theology 23 (1):167-183.
Blogs and the Narrativity of Experience.José Angel García Landa - 2008 - Information Systems: Behavioral and Social Methods Working Papers Series 2 (6).
Asking for Narratives to Be Recognized: The Moral of Histories.Silvia Pierosara - 2011 - Études Ricoeuriennes / Ricoeur Studies 2 (1):70-83.
Towards a Constitutive Account of Implicit Narrativity.Fleur Jongepier - 2016 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 15 (1):51-66.
Problemas y aciertos de la teoría del Yo narrativo de Dennett: aportaciones al debate sobre la identidad personal.Alfonso Muñoz Corcuera - 2013 - Logos. Anales Del Seminario de Metafísica [Universidad Complutense de Madrid, España] 46:27-45.
A Narrative Ethics of Care.Jens Erik Paulsen - 2011 - Health Care Analysis 19 (1):28-40.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total views
1,634 ( #2,934 of 2,498,760 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
118 ( #5,736 of 2,498,760 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes