The narrative self

In Shaun Gallagher (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the Self. Oxford University Press (2011)
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Abstract

This article examines the narrative approach to self found in philosophy and related disciplines. The strongest versions of the narrative approach hold that both a person's sense of self and a person's life are narrative in structure, and this is called the hermeneutical narrative theory. This article provides a provisional picture of the content of the narrative approach and considers some important objections that have been raised to the narrative approach. It defends the view that the self constitutes itself in narrative and argues for something less than the hermeneutical view insofar as the narrative is less agency-oriented and without an overarching thematic unity.

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Marya Schechtman
University of Illinois, Chicago

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