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Volume 49 • Number 4

October 2012



 

 

TRUTH, LIES, AND THE NARRATIVE SELF


by Steve Matthews and Jeanette Kennett


Social persons routinely tell themselves and others richly elaborated autobiographical stories filled with details about deeds, plans, roles, motivations, values, and character. Saul, let us imagine, is someone who once sailed the world as a young adventurer, going from port to port and living a gypsy existence. In telling his new acquaintance, Jess, of his former exotic life, he shines a light on his present character and this may guide to some extent their interaction here and now. Perhaps Jess also spent time at one of these port locations; perhaps their paths might even have crossed. They might be drawn into recounting some common events that indeed do establish a common link. Did they visit a certain famous landmark? Did they meet up at the same bars? And so on. When we open up to friends, acquaintances, colleagues, and close others through the stories we tell them, we do so by revealing bits of ourselves.


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American Philosophical Quarterly is published by the University of Illinois Press on behalf of North American Philosophical Publications.

ISSN: 2152-1123