Narrative dimensions of philosophy: a semiotic exploration in the work of Merleau-Ponty, Kierkegaard and Austin

Sky Marsen

    Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)


    As pattern seeking creatures, humans use story-telling techniques to create and communicate beliefs, thoughts and ideas about the world, personal identity and reality. In evolved and complex social contexts, These beliefs, thoughts and ideas have taken the form of philosophical texts, which construct elaborate and systematic theories, principles and arguments. The question that arises is: do such conceptually sophisticated texts also exhibit, on some level, the prototypical story-telling patterns found in myths and fairy tales? This book explores this question, using concepts from semiotics and narratology. The book has two main objectives: first, to outline and illustrate a new semiotic technique for analyzing complex non-fictional texts, such as philosophy. Second, to use this technique in presenting and discussing three major full-length works by influential philosophers Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Søren Kierkegaard and John Austin. Bridging the gap between literary analysis and philosophical investigation, the book examines the ways in which these philosophers' conceptualizations of reality, self and action are formed through narrative strategy.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationBasingstoke
    PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
    Number of pages192
    ISBN (Electronic)9780230599345
    ISBN (Print)9781349282043
    Publication statusPublished - 2006


    • Merleau-Ponty, Maurice, 1908-1961. Phénoménologie de la perception
    • Kierkegaard, Søren, 1813-1855. Enten-eller
    • Austin, J. L. (John Langshaw), 1911-1960. How to do things with words
    • Philosophical literature--History and criticism
    • Semiotics

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