Becoming an Embodied Social Self Capable of Relating to Norms: Ricoeur’s Narrative Identity Reconsidered in the Light of Enactivism


  • Annemie Halsema Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam



Enactivism, Narrative, Ricoeur, Gender, Social Self


In this paper, I argue for a revaluation of Paul Ricoeur’s notion of narrative identity in light of what Miriam Kyselo has coined “the body-social problem” in enactivism (Kyselo 2014). It is my contention that while phenomenological perspectives upon the body and the self are considered relevant in enactivism, the hermeneutical, discursive facets are understood as a less essential facet of the self, for instance as the self’s reflexive side, that gives expression to an experiential self (Zahavi 2007: 182-184, 2014: 57-59). Yet, it is in language that the self is addressed by others and that the self reflects upon itself and understands itself. Especially in order to understand aspects of identity which are of importance for the social situation of the self, such as gender, the way we are addressed by others and address ourselves by means of language need to be taken into account.