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Balkan Journal of Philosophy


SPECIAL ISSUE of the Balkan Journal of Philosophy for 2021


The uses of narratives, the story-like accounts of particular subjects, are well recognized in various areas of human knowledge and practice. Narratives are ubiquitous both in daily life and in sophisticated professions such as medicine and criminal investigation. They are also common in art, science, and the humanities. The ubiquity of narratives has been associated with the important roles they play: from yielding understanding to serving as justifications for certain actions or as arguments in favor of chosen theories or stances. The multiple uses of narratives, however, raise questions which cannot be easily settled and which, therefore, have become a subject of continuous debates. Do narratives deliver truth or are they intrinsically “just-so stories”? Related to this epistemological question is the methodological one about the status of the so-called narrative-based medicine: should it be treated as a strict alternative to the currently dominant evidence-based medicine or should it be viewed as its important complement? While it has been broadly accepted that narratives provide understanding, it is controversial whether they do so because they are a kind of explanation. Should narratives meet certain criteria in order to claim their explanatory role? Or if we take the stance that narratives provide non-explanatory understanding, in virtue of what are they able to do that? It seems to be beyond question that narratives can play a justificatory role. There is no agreement, however, on whether narrative arguments are indispensable in science or they have been introduced there simply to make the defended theories more palatable.

Given the salience of the epistemological and methodological controversies surrounding the uses of narratives, it is surprising that so little effort has been put so far into addressing these controversies in a systematic way. The aim of the special issue of Balkan Journal of Philosophy for 2021 is to contribute to the studies on the epistemology of narratives and their practical applications. We invite papers, which address epistemological and methodological questions concerning the uses of narratives both from a general theoretical perspective and in the context of specific areas of science, art, the humanities and various professional practices.

Submitted papers should not exceed 8,000 words (including references, an abstract of about 150 words, and a short list of keywords). Papers should be sent to the journal’s email address at: [email protected].

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: December 30, 2020.

This special issue will appear in 2021.

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