Narrative Paradigm


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Narrative Paradigm

  1. 1. NARRATIVE PARADIGM Of Walter Fisher
  2. 2. Basic Ideas <ul><li>People are storytelling animals: we are narrative beings, before we are rational, curious or symbol-using </li></ul><ul><li>All reason-based communication is narrative </li></ul><ul><li>Narration is communication rooted in time and space </li></ul><ul><li>Narratives are interpreted through the lens of paradigms - “common interpretive lenses” </li></ul><ul><li>Through history we can detect paradigm shifts from story to philosophy to science (rational world) </li></ul>
  3. 3. Rational-World Paradigm <ul><li>People are essentially rational </li></ul><ul><li>We make decisions on the basis of arguments </li></ul><ul><li>They type of speaking situation determines the course of our argument </li></ul><ul><li>Rationality is determined by how much we know and how well we argue </li></ul><ul><li>The world is a set of logical puzzles that we can solve through rational analysis. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Rational Paradigm <ul><li>People are essentially storytellers </li></ul><ul><li>We make decisions on the basis of good reasons </li></ul><ul><li>History, biography, culture and character determine what we consider good reasons </li></ul><ul><li>Narrative rationality is determined by coherence and fidelity of our stories </li></ul><ul><li>The world is a set of stories from which we choose and thus constantly recreate, our lives. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Implications of rational paradigm <ul><li>Knowledge is that which is observable in the real world </li></ul><ul><li>Experts are the only one qualified to judge what is true </li></ul><ul><li>That which is not formally logical, or not characterized by expertise, is of secondary importance </li></ul>
  6. 6. Implications of narrative rationality <ul><li>Values are the essence of our stories </li></ul><ul><li>Aesthetics – style and beauty – matter </li></ul><ul><li>Almost anyone can see the point of a good story and judge its merits </li></ul>
  7. 7. Coherence and Fidelity in Narrative Rationality <ul><li>Quality of a story determined by coherence and fidelity </li></ul><ul><li>Coherence: </li></ul><ul><li>how probable does story seem? </li></ul><ul><li>are important details included? </li></ul><ul><li>how does it compare with other stories? </li></ul><ul><li>do characters behave/think consistently? </li></ul><ul><li>Fidelity: </li></ul><ul><li>does it ring true to experience? </li></ul><ul><li>does it provide good reasons to guide our future actions? </li></ul><ul><li>is the story imbued with values? </li></ul>
  8. 8. FIDELITY, VALUES and “GOOD REASONS” <ul><li>Audience concerned with values embedded in the message </li></ul><ul><li>Relevance of values to decisions made </li></ul><ul><li>Consequence of adhering to values </li></ul><ul><li>Overlap with audience worldview </li></ul><ul><li>Conforms to audience ideas of “ideal basis for conduct” </li></ul>
  9. 9. THE NATURE OF VALUES <ul><li>Values are typically ideas about what constitutes truth, good, beauty, health, wisdom, courage, temperance, justice, harmony, order, communion, friendship, and oneness with the Cosmos </li></ul><ul><li>In judging a story to have fidelity, we affirm shared values, and we allow those values to shape our beliefs and actions. </li></ul>
  10. 10. CRITIQUE <ul><li>Anyone can judge the quality of narrative/rhetoric </li></ul><ul><li>Concept of narrative as encompassing all communication may be too broad </li></ul><ul><li>Does not specify HOW values are recognized in narratives or in an audience </li></ul><ul><li>Does not account for the attraction of “evil” texts such as that of “Mein Kampf” </li></ul><ul><li>Does it leave room for texts that go beyond, that attempt to LEAD rather than REFLECT audience values </li></ul><ul><li>Does not attend to the oppressive power of corporate media </li></ul>