Against the narrative self



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Tartu Ülikool


In my thesis, I argue against the narrative conception of self, the idea that our self is narrative in structure and that we live life as a narrative. First, I differentiate between the strong and weak narrative view of self. I classify Dennett and Bruner’s account as the strong claim, Schechtman and Cavarero’s as the weak narrative claim. Second, I reject both the descriptive and normative narrativity thesis. I question the universality of a Narrative outlook. I argue that the artificial constructing of a narrative self is not conducive to self-understanding and that our choices of structuring it might be limiting. Last, I defend the non-Narrative conception of self against the common objection that without a selfnarrative one cannot be held accountable. I discuss Eichmann’s defense in Jerusalem along the way to untangle the link between narrativity and accountability.



narrative, self, practical philosophy