One's Remembered Past: Narrative Thinking, Emotion, and the External Perspective

Philosophical Papers 32 (3):301-319 (2003)
Abstract Narrative thinking has a very important role in our ordinary everyday lives?in our thinking about fiction, about the historical past, about how things might have been, and about our own past and our plans for the future. In this paper, which is part of a larger project, I will be focusing on just one kind of narrative thinking: the kind that we sometimes engage in when we think about, evaluate, and respond emotionally to, our own past lives from a perspective that is external to the remembered events. Being able to do this is an essential part of what it is to have a narrative sense of self. Sometimes, I will suggest, we fail to have such responses?we are not able to think and feel as we should about an episode in our lives. On such occasions, there is a gap in our narrative sense of self?a gap which opens up especially where the past is in some sense tragic or traumatic. The desire to close this gap is what I will call a desire for emotional closure
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DOI 10.1080/05568640309485129
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References found in this work BETA
Bernard Williams (2002). Truth and Truthfulness: An Essay in Genealogy. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA
Patrick Stokes (2012). Is Narrative Identity Four-Dimensionalist? European Journal of Philosophy 20 (S1):e86-e106.
Catriona Mackenzie (2014). Embodied Agents, Narrative Selves. Philosophical Explorations 17 (2):154-171.

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