The Story of Your Life: Life and Narrative

May 27–29

dates

Vancouver, BC

location

5

seminars

2 hours

seminar length

English

Language

Overview

People sometimes think about their own lives in terms of an unfolding story and make sense of events in their lives by situating them within that narrative. Biographies, autobiographies, and fictions also present lives in narrative form. But what is the relation between a life as lived and the form of a narrative? Are our lives essentially story-shaped? Or could it be that we fundamentally misrepresent our lives when we think about them in this way? What determines whether the stories we tell ourselves are truthful and how strong is the tendency to self-deception? And how do we adapt when the stories we tell ourselves come undone?

This weekend intensive course will take place in person in Vancouver, Canada. You will be expected to have done the reading in advance, which will be provided when you register for the course. No prior training in philosophy is expected, but you will be required to read some moderately difficult texts on your own. University-level English reading skills will be an asset.


What READINGS WILL BE REQUIRED FOR THE COURSE?

Course participants will be provided with a packet of readings in PDF format. In addition, I will ask you to provide your own copy of Leo Tolstoy’s novella, The Death of Ivan Ilyich. I will be working with the Vintage Classics edition, translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, but if you have a separate edition of your own, that should be fine.

Course Overview

Session 1 (May 27): The coherence of a life: Charles Taylor and Jonathan Lear

Session 2 (May 28): Narrativity and anti-narrativity 1: Jean-Paul Sartre and Alasdair MacIntyre

Session 3 (May 28): Narrativity and anti-narrativity 2: Galen Strawson and Richard Moran

Session 4 (May 29): Narrative and self-deception: Daniel Dennett and Samuel Beckett

Session 5 (May 29): Narrative and death: Kathy Behrendt and Leo Tolstoy

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The Story of Your Life: Life and Narrative

May 27–29

dates

Vancouver, BC

location

5

seminars

2 hours

seminar length

English

Language

Overview

People sometimes think about their own lives in terms of an unfolding story and make sense of events in their lives by situating them within that narrative. Biographies, autobiographies, and fictions also present lives in narrative form. But what is the relation between a life as lived and the form of a narrative? Are our lives essentially story-shaped? Or could it be that we fundamentally misrepresent our lives when we think about them in this way? What determines whether the stories we tell ourselves are truthful and how strong is the tendency to self-deception? And how do we adapt when the stories we tell ourselves come undone

This weekend intensive course will take place in person in Vancouver, Canada. You will be expected to have done the reading in advance, which will be provided when you register for the course. No prior training in philosophy is expected, but you will be required to read some moderately difficult texts on your own. University-level English reading skills will be an asset.


What READINGS WILL BE REQUIRED FOR THE COURSE?

Course participants will be provided with a packet of readings in PDF format. In addition, I will ask you to provide your own copy of Leo Tolstoy’s novella, The Death of Ivan Ilyich. I will be working with the Vintage Classics edition, translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, but if you have a separate edition of your own, that should be fine.

Course Overview

Session 1 (May 27): The coherence of a life: Charles Taylor and Jonathan Lear

Session 2 (May 28): Narrativity and anti-narrativity 1: Jean-Paul Sartre and Alasdair MacIntyre

Session 3 (May 28): Narrativity and anti-narrativity 2: Galen Strawson and Richard Moran

Session 4 (May 29): Narrative and self-deception: Friedrich Nietzsche and Samuel Beckett

Session 5 (May 29): Narrative and death: Kathy Behrendt and Leo Tolstoy

Are You Ready To join?

Explore More

Upcoming Courses

View entire list of upcoming courses available to join

Past Courses

Check out summaries from past courses.

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