ELIT Semineri: “Stories and Selves: A Twisted Love Story about the Meaning of Life”, Elisabeth Camp, 17:30 25 Nisan 2024 (EN)

You are cordially invited to this talk hosted by the Department of English Language and Literature. The event will be held on Zoom.

Title: “Stories and Selves: A Twisted Love Story about the Meaning of Life”
Dr. Elisabeth Camp

Date and time: Thursday April 25, 2024 05:30 PM
This is an online seminar. To obtain event details please send a message to department.

ABSTRACT: I argue that stories are “equipment for living” in two senses: retrospectively, they provide synoptic “configurational comprehension” of a temporal sequence of events; and prospectively, they offer principles for guiding action. Narrative conceptions of selfhood appear poised to explain these functional roles in terms of who an agent is. However, the “retrospective necessity” of narrative structure entails that the narrative conception holds selves hostage, epistemically, normatively and practically, to the ends of their lives. I offer some alternative species of frames that also provide configurational comprehension without shackling selves to their autobiography’s endings.

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE: Elisabeth Camp is a Professor of Philosophy at Rutgers University. She obtained her PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, held a post-doc at the Harvard Society of Fellows, and taught at the University of Pennsylvania before moving to Rutgers in 2013. She is the author of over forty articles in the philosophy of language, mind, and aesthetics. Her work focuses on thoughts and utterances that don’t fit a standard propositional model of minds and languages, including metaphor, maps, and animal cognition. Recent publications include an edited volume, The Poetry of Emily Dickinson: Philosophical Perspectives (Oxford University Press, 2021); “Language: Power Plays At The Edges Of Communication,” in Philosophy for Girls: An Invitation to the Life of Thought (OUP 2020), and “Imaginative Frames for Scientific Inquiry: Metaphors, Telling Facts, and Just-So Stories” (in The Scientific Imagination, OUP 2019).