This chapter argues against two popular claims. The first is a descriptive, empirical thesis about the nature of ordinary human experience which is called in this chapter the psychological Narrativity thesis: ‘each of us constructs and lives a ‘narrative’ ... this narrative is us, our identities’ (Oliver Sacks). The second is a normative, ethical claim which this chapter calls ethical Narrativity thesis: we ought to live our lives narratively, or as a story; a ‘basic condition of making sense of ourselves is that we grasp our lives in a narrative’ and have an understanding of our lives ‘as an unfolding story’ (Charles Taylor); a person ‘creates his identity (only) by forming an autobiographical narrative — a story of his life’, and must be in possession of a full and ‘explicit narrative (of his life) to develop fully as a person’ (Marya Schechtman).
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