Friday, March 30, 2012

Danto on History: The Importance of Narrative

"Our incapacity, which is granted, to observe the past, is not a defect in history itself, but a deficiency which it is the precise purpose of history to overcome."

"History has been the central category of my philosophy, and the way we define our experience through narrative structures - through stories. The thing about stories is that we don't know how they are going to turn out, and how different the beginning is going to look to us when we see how it all ended. Philosophers mainly get hung up on the connection between consciousness and the brain, but my interest is in the historical structure of consciousness - how the consciousness of someone living in the thirteenth century has to have been different from the consciousness of someone living as we do in the twenty-first century."

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