Authors
Galen Strawson
University of Texas at Austin
Abstract
I argue against two popular claims. The first is a descriptive, empiri- cal thesis about the nature of ordinary human experience: ‘each of us constructs and lives a “narrative” . . . this narrative is us, our identities’ (Oliver Sacks); ‘self is a perpetually rewritten story . . . in the end, we become the autobiographical narratives by which we “tell about” our lives’ (Jerry Bruner); ‘we are all virtuoso novelists. . . . We try to make all of our material cohere into a single good story. And that story is our autobiography. The chief fictional char- acter . . . of that autobiography is one’s self’ (Dan Dennett). The second is a normative, ethical claim: we ought to live our lives narratively, or as a story; a ‘basic condition of making sense of ourselves is that we grasp our lives in a narrative’ and have an understanding of our lives ‘as an unfolding story’ (Charles Taylor). A person ‘creates his identity [only] by forming an autobiograph- ical narrative – a story of his life’, and must be in possession of a full and ‘explicit narrative [of his life] to develop fully as a person’ (Marya Schechtman).
Keywords Autobiography  Ethics  Language  Narrative  Narrativity
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Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9329.2004.00264.x
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References found in this work BETA

After Virtue.A. MacIntyre - 1981 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 46 (1):169-171.
The Constitution of Selves.Marya Schechtman (ed.) - 1996 - Cornell University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Embodied Narratives.Richard Menary - 2008 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 15 (6):63-84.
After Virtue and Accounting Ethics.Andrew West - 2018 - Journal of Business Ethics 148 (1):21-36.

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