Public Philosophy Through Narrative

In Lee C. McIntyre, Nancy Arden McHugh & Ian Olasov (eds.), A companion to public philosophy. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 249–258 (2022)
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Abstract

In this chapter, the author's solution was narrative storytelling, featuring the voices of people experiencing a conflict in the world, a conflict that opened up a philosophical question. He begins with a hook story, like that of CH and his shopping for a good quality stereo system, one that requires him to make use of an obscure and counterintuitive piece of practical reasoning. The story of Dr. Shukor and the Fatwa Council presents the central conflict posed by the problem of vagueness in real‐life decisions. Decisions about the meaning of central words in scripture would affect generations of Muslim astronauts in the future. The design of a piece of academic writing is to make a case for a claim using evidence and argument against an epistemically adversarial reader. One of the essential features of good narrative storytelling is change in fortune over time.

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Barry Lam
Vassar College

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