Balkan Journal of Philosophy

Volume 13, Issue 1, 2021

The Uses of Narratives: From Practice to Epistemology and Back

Joseph Ulatowski
Pages 11-20

Self as One and Many Narratives

There are different approaches to the narrative self. I limit myself to one approach that argues narratives have an important role to play in our lives without it being true that a narrative constitutes and creates the self. My own position is broadly sympathetic with that view, but my interest lies with the question of whether there is truth in the claim that to create one’s self-narrative is to create oneself. I argue that a self-narrative may be multiply realised by the inner self—impressions and emotions—and the outer self—roles in work and life. I take an optimistic attitude to the idea that narrative provides a metaphor that may stimulate insight into the nature of self if we accept a plurality of narrative selves. This paper mines a vein of research on narratives for insights into selves without being bewitched into accepting implausible conclusions.