Elisabeth Camp (Rutgers University), “Stories and Selves: A Twisted Love Story about the Meaning of Life.”

25 April 2024, 17:30 (Zoom)

For the Zoom link, please contact Andrea Selleri (andrea.selleri@bilkent.edu.tr) or Atti Viragh (aviragh@bilkent.edu.tr).

Abstract: I argue that stories are “equipment for living” in two senses: retrospectively, they provide synoptic “configurational comprehension” of a temporal sequence of events; and prospectively, they offer principles for guiding action. Narrative conceptions of selfhood appear poised to explain these functional roles in terms of who an agent is. However, the “retrospective necessity” of narrative structure entails that the narrative conception holds selves hostage, epistemically, normatively and practically, to the ends of their lives. I offer some alternative species of frames that also provide configurational comprehension without shackling selves to their autobiography’s endings.