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

Philosophical Papers 32 (3):301-319 (2003)
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Abstract

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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Peter Goldie
Manchester

References found in this work

After virtue: a study in moral theory.Alasdair C. MacIntyre - 1981 - Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press.
The Emotions: A Philosophical Exploration.Peter Goldie - 2000 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Truth and Truthfulness: An Essay in Genealogy.Bernard Williams - 2002 - Princeton: Princeton University Press.

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