The Narrative Self

January 26, 2011

Prompted by Michael Sandel (and countless other references in the past) i’ve finally been looking into the philosophy of Alasdair Macintyre and his opposition to the notion of the autonomous self that is the basis of political liberalism (to borrow Rawls’ title). Macintyre instead emphasizes the narrative self. Interesting, then to read this in today’s post by Eric MacDonald:-

“The change from classical ways of regarding the self may be fairly accurately located in Augustine’s writings, for in his Confessions Augustine develops a sense of narrative self which is arguably the source of the Christian concept of the self.”

Does Macintyre confuse a Christian account of self for an essential aspect of human existence?


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