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  • Ah a link to narrative self which makes sense. But the attitude is wrongheaded.

narrative self

15 Feb 2021 08:22 - 08 Jan 2022 10:04

    • Focusing on the idea that minds or selves in some sense have a narrative structure. This is a pretty commonplace idea in the humanities sphere; but it's rarely taken seriously from a computational/AI standpoint.
    • Anti-narrative

      • Galen Strawson, a philosopher who is skeptical of the idea, lays it out in ‘We live beyond any tale that we happen to enact’ (2012):
        • What is it to experience oneself or one’s life, or major parts of one’s life, in a narrative way? This is a large question and I know of no clear answer. But there is widespread agreement that Narrativity exists. According to the neurologist Oliver Sacks, ‘each of us constructs and lives a “narrative” ... this narrative is us, our identities’ (1985: 110). The psychologist Jerry Bruner holds that ‘self is a perpetually rewritten story’, and ‘in the end, we become the autobiographical narratives by which we “tell about” our lives’(1994:53,1987:15). The philosopher Marya Schechtman claims that one ‘creates [one’s] identity by forming an autobiographical narrative—a story of [one’s] life’(1996:93). Charles Taylor holds that ‘we must inescapably understand our lives in narrative form’ (1989: 52). ‘We are all storytellers’, according to Ruthellen Josselson, Amia Lieblich, and Dan McAdams, and ‘we are the stories we tell’ (2006:3). David Velleman writes that ‘we invent ourselves, in a paper called ‘The Self as Narrator’, adding that ‘we really are the characters we invent’ (2006: 206). According to Dan Dennett, we’re all
        • virtuoso novelists, who find ourselves engaged in all sorts of behaviour, and we always try to put the best faces’ on it we can. We try to make all of our material cohere into a single good story. And that story is our autobiography. The chief fictional character at the centre of that autobiography is one’s self. (1988: 1029)
        • [p74] I think these quotations give the general idea. Most of them add the claim that one conceives oneself—or one’s self—in a narrative way to the claim that one experiences one’s life in a narrative way, and make no clear distinction between the two things. I have accordingly built this into the starting definition of Narrativity.
        • All these writers endorse what I call a) the psychological Narrativity thesis...