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2016 | 17(2) | 53-61

Article title

Narrative identity: Irony of Human Identity: the Finished/Unfinished Self in Narration

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Narrative identity is an essential category of contemporary philosophical anthropology,and especially philosophy of selfhood, simply cannot do without. This article will illustratethis specific point with the example of the phenomenon which Stanely Cavell calls ‘theirony of human identity’: the fact that every human being has a sense of surpassing anydescriptions that may be offered him/her by the surrounding world, or even by him/herself.A sense that my very self, in the sense of the Ricoeurian ipsé, which somehow alwaysremains unexpressed, and, what is more, that I, the subject, can negate my current identityat any moment. Here, the aim is to show that, on the one hand, a narrative understandingof selfhood is necessary to do justice to this ironic tension, and, on the other, that narrationas an act of language use is itself exposed to an irony of its own: the tension between language as a system, as something given and inherited, and language as a creative mediumwhere a constant search for new forms of expression continues. The meaning of thisrelationship between language and the human self begs further research.





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