Philosophers’ Stories

American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 84 (4):711-726 (2010)
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Abstract

With reference to the work of Gabriel Marcel (1889–1973), this paper illustrates how, in spite of its general neglect in philosophical contexts, narrativeform can be significant in philosophical writing. This, in turn, highlights an aspect of Marcel’s specificity that has been overlooked: recognition of narrative’s structural importance in Marcel reveals the extent to which the form and content of his investigations into the nature of Being are indissociable; and this sheds light on his particular phenomenological method, which, like that of Martin Heidegger (1889–1976), takes an indirect approach to ontology—specifically through itsuse of first-person narratives. For this reason, I argue, parallels can also be drawn between Marcel’s philosophy and that of Paul Ricoeur (1913–2005)—especiallywith his discussions of narrative identity.

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