Narrative niche construction: Memory ecologies and distributed narrative identities

Biology and Philosophy 35 (5):1-23 (2020)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Memories of our personal past are the building blocks of our narrative identity. So, when we depend on objects and other people to remember and construct our personal past, our narrative identity is distributed across our embodied brains and an ecology of environmental resources. This paper uses a cognitive niche construction approach to conceptualise how we engineer our memory ecology and construct our distributed narrative identities. It does so by identifying three types of niche construction processes that govern how we interact with our memory ecology, namely creating, editing, and using resources in our memory ecology. It also conceptualises how identity-relevant information in objects and (family) stories is transmitted vertically, i.e., across different generations of people. Identifying these processes allows us to better understand the cultural information trajectories that constitute our memory ecologies. Thus, what I’ll argue is that our memory ecology distributes our narrative identity and that engineering our memory ecology is a form of narrative niche construction.

Similar books and articles

Human nature and cognitive–developmental niche construction.Karola Stotz - 2010 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 9 (4):483-501.
Minds: extended or scaffolded?Kim Sterelny - 2010 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 9 (4):465-481.
Constructive memory and distributed cognition: Towards an interdisciplinary framework.John Sutton - 2003 - In B. Kokinov & W. Hirst (eds.), Constructive Memory. New Bulgarian University. pp. 290-303.
Les guises de la mémoire personnelle: Du souvenir-image à la mémoire-récit.Rudolf Boutet - 2019 - Études Ricoeuriennes / Ricoeur Studies 10 (1):73-87.
Is external memory memory? Biological memory and extended mind.Kourken Michaelian - 2012 - Consciousness and Cognition 21 (3):1154-1165.
Narrative identity and dementia.Tim Thornton - forthcoming - Hungarian Philosophical Review.
Extended Mind and Identity.Robert A. Wilson & Bartlomiej A. Lenart - 2014 - In Jens Clausen & Neil Levy (eds.), Handbook of Neuroethics. Springer. pp. 423-439.
Memory, Narrative, and the Consequences.Jens Brockmeier - 2019 - Topics in Cognitive Science 11 (4):821-824.


Added to PP

911 (#15,964)

6 months
179 (#16,989)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?