Download The Philosopher's ''I'': Autobiography And the Search for by J. Lenore Wright PDF

By J. Lenore Wright

Utilizing works written over the process 1,500 years, considers philosophers' autobiographies as a style of philosophical writing.

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If the Inner self and the Outer self represent two extreme philosophical positions on the self (one essentialist, one constructivist), then I aim to strike an Aristotelian mean between the two. I contend that both the Inner and Outer self emerge within every autobiographical text, that is, that there is both an ontological self and a rhetorical subject that inform autobiographical texts. This distinction emerges because the subject of the autobiographical inquiry is simultaneously the object of the inquiry.

Nietzsche’s autobiography offers us a rich preliminary starting point. Completed in 1888, one year before his final and irrevocable collapse, Nietzsche embroiders Ecce Homo with Christian imagery and biblical allusions; imagery and allusion he brazenly mocks throughout this corpus. The title of the work is biblical. ” In selecting this line for his title, Nietzsche acknowledges that though we may crucify him, he aims to offer us a redeeming view of humanity. ). By the time Nietzsche writes Ecce Homo, he has rejected essentialist metaphysical accounts of the self and coherence theories of truth altogether.

Ricoeur’s insights evoke two questions raised at the beginning of this chapter: What does it mean to write about ourselves? And what, if anything, does writing about ourselves reveal? When we speak about ourselves, we invoke an introspective gaze, a retrospective gaze, and what I label an alterspective gaze. That is, we gather a sense of ourselves by looking inward, by looking backward, and by looking outward. In hearing the stories of our childhood, the descriptions of our behaviors of youth, we assume the conceptions, beliefs, and preferences that both our perspective and other perspectives constitute.

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