Author Information

Trudy GovierFollow

Location

McMaster University

Document Type

Paper

Start Date

1-6-2005 9:00 AM

End Date

1-6-2005 5:00 PM

Abstract

This paper explores the relationship between narrative and argument in the context of ‘telling our stories’, a common aspect of processes of political reconciliation. Truth commissions and informal workshops often emphasize the telling of stories as a means of providing a sense of the experiences of persons affected by political conflict. Such stories, or narratives, may provide a powerful tool in reconciliation processes, given that they provide a basis for acknowledgement, understanding and empathy. However the power of narrative in such contexts does not eliminate the need for the exploration and evaluation of arguments for contested claims, and there is likely to be a tension between empathetic and critical elements in this regard.

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Jun 1st, 9:00 AM Jun 1st, 5:00 PM

Truth and Storytelling: Some Hidden Arguments

McMaster University

This paper explores the relationship between narrative and argument in the context of ‘telling our stories’, a common aspect of processes of political reconciliation. Truth commissions and informal workshops often emphasize the telling of stories as a means of providing a sense of the experiences of persons affected by political conflict. Such stories, or narratives, may provide a powerful tool in reconciliation processes, given that they provide a basis for acknowledgement, understanding and empathy. However the power of narrative in such contexts does not eliminate the need for the exploration and evaluation of arguments for contested claims, and there is likely to be a tension between empathetic and critical elements in this regard.