I mean by “narrative” as story. I refer to big stories - stories that are sufficiently profound and complex to offer explanations of the origins and future of people; stories that construct ideals, prescribe rules of conduct, specify sources of authority, and, in doing all this, provide a sense of continuity and purpose. Joseph Campbell and Rollo May, among others, called such stories “myths”. Marx had such stories in mind referring to “ideologies”. And Freud called them “illusions”. No matter. What is important about narratives is that human being cannot live without them. We are burdened with a kind of consciousness that insists on our having a purpose. Purposefulness requires a moral context, and moral context is what I mean by a narrative.

sources

  1. Building a Bridge to the 18th Century