Narrative integration, fragmented selves, and autonomy

Catriona Mackenzie*, Jacqui Poltera

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper we defend the notion of narrative identity against Galen Strawson's recent critique. With reference to Elyn Saks's memoir of her schizophrenia, we question the coherence of Strawson's conception of the Episodic self and show why the capacity for narrative integration is important for a flourishing life. We also argue that Saks's case and reflections on the therapeutic role of "illness narratives" put pressure on narrative theories that specify unduly restrictive constraints on self-constituting narratives, and clarify the need to distinguish identity from autonomy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-54
Number of pages24
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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