Authors
Mary Jean Walker
La Trobe University
Abstract
Recent evidence from the neurosciences and cognitive sciences provides some support for a narrative theory of self-understanding. However, it also suggests that narrative self-understanding is unlikely to be accurate, and challenges its claims to truth. This article examines a range of this empirical evidence, explaining how it supports a narrative theory of self-understanding while raising questions of these narrative's accuracy and veridicality. I argue that this evidence does not provide sufficient reason to dismiss the possibility of truth in narrative self-understanding. Challenges to the possibility of attaining true, accurate self-knowledge through a self-narrative have previously been made on the basis of the epistemological features of narrative. I show how the empirical evidence is consistent with the epistemological concerns, and provide three ways to defend the notion of narrative truth. I also aim to show that neuroethical discussions of self-understanding would benefit from further engagement with the philosophical literature on narrative truth.
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DOI 10.1080/21507740.2012.712603
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References found in this work BETA

After Virtue.A. MacIntyre - 1981 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 46 (1):169-171.
Consciousness Explained.William G. Lycan - 1993 - Philosophical Review 102 (3):424.

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Citations of this work BETA

Dimensions of Ethical Direct-to-Consumer Neurotechnologies.Karola V. Kreitmair - 2019 - American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 10 (4):152-166.
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Natural Belief in Persistent Selves.Mark Collier - 2021 - Philosophical Psychology 34 (8):1146–1166.

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