Corporeal selfhood, self-interpretation, and narrative selfhood

Philosophical Explorations 17 (2):141-153 (2014)
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Ever since Freud pioneered the “talking cure,” psychologists of various stripes have explored how autobiographical narrative bears on self-understanding and psychic wellbeing. Recently, there has been a wave of philosophical speculation as to whether autobiographical narrative plays an essential or important role in the constitution of agentic selves. However, embodiment has received little attention from philosophers who defend some version of the narrative self. Catriona Mackenzie is an important exception to this pattern of neglect, and this paper explores Mackenzie’s work on embodiment and self-narrative with the aim of better understanding the adequacy of autobiographical narrative as an account of the agentic self. I argue that Mackenzie’s narrative account of embodied subjectivity and agency is incomplete, for it over-estimates the reach of narrative and underestimates the cognitive and agentic powers of the lived body.
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Archival date: 2014-01-20
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