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Profile: Kathy Behrendt (Wilfrid Laurier University)
  1. Kathy Behrendt (2014). Whole Lives and Good Deaths. Metaphilosophy 45 (3):331-347.
    This article discusses two views associated with narrative conceptions of the self. The first view asserts that our whole life is reasonably regarded as a single unit of meaning. A prominent strand of the philosophical narrative account of the self is the representative of this view. The second view—which has currency beyond the confines of the philosophical narrative account—is that the meaning of a life story is dependent on what happens at the end of it. The article argues that the (...)
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  2. Kathy Behrendt (2013). Hirsch, Sebald, and the Uses and Limits of Postmemory. In Russell J. A. Kilbourn & Eleanor Ty (eds.), The Memory Effect: The Remediation of Memory in Literature and Film. Wilfrid Laurier University Press. 51-67.
    Marianne Hirsch’s influential concept of postmemory articulates the ethical significance of representing trauma in art and literature. Postmemory, for Hirsch, “describes the relationship of children of survivors of cultural or collective trauma to the experiences of their parents, experiences that they ‘remember’ only as the narratives and images with which they grew up, but that are so powerful, so monumental, as to constitute memories in their own right”. Through appeal to recent philosophical work on memory, the ethics of remembering, and (...)
     
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  3. Kathy Behrendt (2013). Illness as Narrative. [REVIEW] Medical Humanities 39 (1):65-66.
  4. Kathy Behrendt (2011). Reasons to Live Versus Reasons Not to Die. Think 10 (28):67-76.
    ‘Any reason for living is an excellent reason for not dying’ (Steven Luper-Foy, 'Annihilation'). Some claims seem so clearly right that we don’t think to question them. Steven Luper-Foy’s remark is like that. It borders on the ‘trivially true’ (i.e. so obviously true as to be uninteresting). If I have a reason to live, surely I likewise have a reason not to die. It may then be surprising to learn that so many philosophers disagree with this claim—either directly or by (...)
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  5. Kathy Behrendt (2010). A Special Way of Being Afraid. Philosophical Psychology 23 (5):669-682.
    I am interested in fear of non-existence, which is often discussed in terms of fear one’s own death, or as it is sometimes called, fear of death as such. This form of fear has been denied by some philosophers. Cognitive theories of the emotions have particular trouble in dealing with it, granting it a status that is simultaneously paradigmatic yet anomalous with respect to fear in general. My paper documents these matters, and considers a number of responses. I provide examples (...)
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  6. Kathy Behrendt (2010). Scraping Down the Past: Memory and Amnesia in W. G. Sebald's Anti-Narrative. Philosophy and Literature 34 (2):394-408.
    Vanguard anti-narrativist Galen Strawson declares personal memory unimportant for self-constitution. But what if lapses of personal memory are sustained by a morally reprehensible amnesia about historical events, as happens in the work of W.G. Sebald? The importance of memory cannot be downplayed in such cases. Nevertheless, contrary to expectations, a concern for memory needn’t ally one with the narrativist position. Recovery of historical and personal memory results in self-dissolution and not self-unity or understanding in Sebald’s characters. In the end, Sebald (...)
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  7. Kathy Behrendt (2007). Reasons to Be Fearful: Strawson, Death and Narrative. Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 82 (60):133-.
    I compare and assess two significant and opposing approaches to the self with respect to what they have to say about death: the anti-narrativist, as articulated by Galen Strawson, and the narrativist, as pieced together from a variety of accounts. Neither party fares particularly well on the matter of death. Both are unable to point towards a view of death that is clearly consistent with their views on the self. In the narrativist’s case this inconsistency is perhaps not as explicit (...)
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  8. Kathy Behrendt (2005). Impersonal Identity and Corrupting Concepts. Southern Journal of Philosophy 43 (2):159-188.
    How does the concept of a person affect our beliefs about ourselves and the world? In an intriguing recent addition to his established Reductionist view of personal identity, Derek Parfit speculates that there could be beings who do not possess the concept of a person. Where we talk and think about persons, selves, subjects, or agents, they talk and think about sequences of thoughts and experiences related to a particular brain and body. Nevertheless their knowledge and experience of the world (...)
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  9. Kathy Behrendt (2003). Despair, Liberation and Everyday Life: Two Bundle Views of Personal Identity. Richmond Journal of Philosophy 1 (5):32-37.
    Philosophy sometimes has the reputation of dealing with matters outside the realm of ‘everyday life’, and trading in ideas that float free from anything beyond the armchair in which we sit contemplating them. In this paper, I discuss a standard armchair-branch of philosophy – personal identity theory – and the real-life effects it either has had or has apparently failed to have upon two philosophers: David Hume and Derek Parfit. Both arrive at similar and quite radical beliefs about personal identity. (...)
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  10. Kathy Behrendt (2003). The New Neo-Kantian and Reductionist Debate. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 84 (4):331-350.
    Has Derek Parfit modified his views on personal identity in light of Quassim Cassam’s neo-Kantian argument that to experience the world as objective, we must think of ourselves as enduring subjects of experience? Both parties suggest there is no longer a serious dispute between them. I retrace the path that led to this truce, and contend that the debate remains open. Parfit’s recent work reveals a re-formulation of his ostensibly abandoned claim that there could be impersonal descriptions of reality. I (...)
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  11. Kathy Behrendt (2002). Derek Parfit. In Leemon McHenry, P. Dematteis & P. Fosl (eds.), British Philosophers, 1800-2000. Bruccoli Clark Layman. 262--168.
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