Paradigmatic knowing uses reasoned analysis, logical
proof, and empirical observation. We use it to explain
cause and effect, to predict and to create unambiguous
truths that can be proven or disproved.
Narrative knowledge is created and constructed through
the stories we tell about lived experiences and the
meanings we create from them. We use narrative knowing
to help make sense out of ambiguity and the complexity of
‘to narrate’ derives from
both ‘telling’ (narrare)
and ‘knowing in some
particular way’ (gnarus)
- the two tangled
– Combines the recounting of events with a specific understanding
– Is more than sequencing of events; it is a form of meaning-making
– Narratives that have sequential and temporal ordering
– Have some kind of rupture or disturbance in the normal course of
events, some kind of unexpected action that provokes a reaction
– Have context, characters, plot, place, turning point
– Mean something to the teller
• TERMS OFTEN USED INTERCHANGEABLY IN PRACTICE
The Human Mind Structures Reality
Through Cultural Products and Symbolic Systems
2. Specific vs. General
3. People + Events = People Explained
4. Dependent upon ability to interpret them
5. Normal and Different
6. What feels right vs. what ‘fact’
8. Confirms cultural norms
9. Context of background knowledge
10. Narrative accrual
1. Narrative diachronicity: The notion that narratives take place over some sense of time.
2. Particularity: Narratives deal with particular events, although some events may be left
vague and general
3. Intentional state entailment: Within a narrative, characters have intention, i.e. "beliefs,
desires, theories, values, and so on”
4. Hermeneutic composability: Narratives are a selected series of events that can be
interpreted as a "story.”
5. Canonicity and breach: Stories are about something unusual happening that "breaches"
the canonical or normal state.
6. Referentiality: A story in some way references reality; narrative truth can offer verisimilitude
but not verifiability. Veracity versus verisimilitude or Narratives “feel” true.
7. Genericness: The flip side to particularity, where the story can be classified as a genre which
8. Normativeness: Narrative supposes a social norm. This follows from canonicity and breach.
9. Context sensitivity and negotiability: Requires an implicit negotiated role between author
and reader, including reader understanding of context to the narrative and agreement to
10.Narrative accrual: Stories are cumulative; new stories follow from older ones
1. Narrative diachronicity: The three pigs story takes place in a sequence. In particular, we see the
wolf moving from the straw to sticks to brick in accordance with the pig’s effort and work ethic
2. Particularity: The story deals with the wolf’s attacks on the pigs house, not how the pigs get food or
how they learned to play the cute instruments.
3. Intentional state entailment: The story makes it clear that the wolf is ‘bad,’ and is in pursuit of the
pigs, as well as the motivations of the pigs
4. Hermeneutic composability: The events presented are linked in such as way that we know them to
be related and to further the story
5. Canonicity and breach: The three pigs is a morality play, so the breach occurs when the pigs build
substandard houses putting themselves at risk of the wolf’s ability to blow their houses down.
6. Referentiality: While this is a cartoon and a fairy tale, we recognize the truth in hard work paying off
and making us safer
7. Genericness: We recognize the cartoon as having comedic references and the morality play as
giving us a message
8. Normativeness: The story reinforces the ethic of hard work and the lesson that it pays off
9. Context sensitivity and negotiability: We recognize this as a story and are willing to participate in
the lesson without being overly critical of the unrealistic elements, such as pigs talking, wolves
blowing down houses, etc.
10.Narrative accrual: This story builds on what we believe about wolves being dangerous, morals of
hard work, the relative strength of different building materials and the relationships within families.
Dr. Pamela Rutledge