Chapter 1. Identity and empathy

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In Oneself as Another Ricœur speaks of the “ethical implication of the narrative” (p. 163). In the meantime, a “Narrative Ethics” has formed around the question of whether such implications exist and how they might appear. Narratives are not merely permeated by specific moral contents, values and norms but – such is the more fundamental thesis – the phenomenon of morality as such is constituted only in and through narratives. The following considerations aim to contribute to this subject. The terms narrativity (1) and morality (2) are to be defined in a way indicating possible correlations (3). The central thesis is: Moral experience and acting are fundamentally based on processes of identity and empathy formation, and narratives enable, create, stabilize and energize both identity and empathy.


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