Narrative, Self-Realization, and the Shape of a Life

Clark, Samuel John Allen (2018) Narrative, Self-Realization, and the Shape of a Life. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, 21 (2). pp. 371-385. ISSN 1386-2820

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Velleman, MacIntyre, and others have argued for the compositional view that lives can be other than equally good for the person who lives them even though they contain all and only the same moments, and that this is explained by their narrative structure. I argue instead for explanation by self-realization, partly by interpreting Siegfried Sassoon’s exemplary life-narrative. I decide between the two explanations by distinguishing the various features of the radial concept of narrative, and showing, for each, either that self-realization is just as good an account, or that we should prefer the self-realization account, of the composition it is supposed to explain. I conclude that, if the shape of a life matters, it matters because some shapes are self-realizations, not because they are narratives.

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Journal Article
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Ethical Theory and Moral Practice
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Deposited On:
09 Apr 2018 13:38
Last Modified:
22 Nov 2022 05:43