Helena de Bres F'18

Helena  de Bres
Associate Professor
Philosophy
Wellesley College

Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowships for Recently Tenured Scholars 2018
Associate Professor
Philosophy
Wellesley College
The Story of My Life: Personal Narration, Meaning in Life, and Literary Nonfiction
For residence at the Department of Philosophy at Stanford University during academic year 2019-2020

Humans often tell stories about themselves to themselves and to others. This two-part project explores this distinctive human habit. The first part is a set of academic articles addressing the subject of personal narration from within ethics and philosophy of literature. In ethics, it examines the idea that telling a story about one’s life can make one’s life more meaningful. In philosophy of literature, it discusses several neglected conceptual and evaluative questions about the “literary face” of self-life narration: memoir and personal essays. The second part is a collection of interlinked essays on what makes for a meaningful life. The essays combine recent research in analytic philosophy with personal narration, using the style and structure of literary nonfiction.