Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, Vol 3, No 1 (2007)

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The Primordial Role of Stories in Human Self-Creation

Arran Gare


We now have a paradoxical situation where the place and status of stories is in decline within the humanities, while scientists are increasingly recognizing their importance. Here the attitude towards narratives of these scientists is defended. It is argued that stories play a primordial role in human self-creation, underpinning more abstract discourses such as mathematics, logic and science. To uphold the consistency of this claim, this thesis is defended by telling a story of the evolution of European culture from Ancient Greece to the present, including an account of the rise of the notion of culture and its relation to the development of history, thereby showing how stories function to justify beliefs, situate people as agents within history and orient them to create the future.

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