Selves on Selves: The Philosophical Significance of Autobiography

Journal of Aesthetic Education 46 (4):109-119 (2012)
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Philosophers of literature do not take much of an interest in autobiography.1 In one sense this is not surprising. As a certain prejudice has it, autobiography is, along with biography, the preferred reading of people who do not really like to read. The very words can conjure up images of what one finds on bookshelves in Florida retirement communities and in underfunded public libraries, books with titles like Under the Rainbow: The Real Liza Minnelli or Me: Stories of My Life (Katharine Hepburn).2 Hardly rousing material, at least from the philosophical point of view. But on a moment’s reflection, it becomes clear that the initial prejudice is unfounded. Never mind the fact that there are obviously ..
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