Narrative, Identity and the Kierkegaardian Self
School of Humanities
Social Sciences, Arts & Humanities Research Institute
Are selves stories? Is each of us the main character in a narrative we tell about ourselves? Are selves and persons the same thing, or is each of us somehow both these things? What implications does the possibility of sudden death have our ability to understand ourselves in narrative terms? Or is this increasingly popular narrative approach to self-constitution misguided, and possibly harmful? These questions have been heavily discussed in recent analytic philosophy of personal identity, and also by scholars grappling with Kierkegaard’s distinctive account of selfhood and ethical identity (and with Heidegger, whose work on self, death, and time bears an unmistakably Kierkegaardian imprint). This collection brings together, for the first time, figures working in each of these fields, to explore pressing issues in the philosophy of personal identity and moral psychology. It serves both to advance important ongoing discussions and to explore the light that, two hundred years after his birth, Kierkegaard is still able to shed on contemporary problems.