Narrative Art as a Route to Self-Knowledge and Self-Development
Debates about whether works of art can serve as a source of knowledge about the world or whether they can promote other-understanding have been common in contemporary aesthetics and philosophy of art. However, little has been written on the effects that art has on cultivating self-knowledge and self-development. While for most of us it seems obvious that art has these effects, little is known about how and why these effects occur. Addressing this issue is the main aim of the present paper. The gist of the argument is that narrative art, understood as a mental simulation gives us a unique opportunity to adopt a dual (first and third) perspective on the self, which is argued recently by psychologists and philosophers of mind to be necessary for obtaining the kind of self-knowledge that leads to self-change.
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