The case against narrative

Article


Cobley, P. 2023. The case against narrative. Cybernetics & Human Knowing. 30 (1-2), pp. 83-99.
TypeArticle
TitleThe case against narrative
AuthorsCobley, P.
Abstract

The recent experience of a global pandemic offered a massive opportunity for humans to rethink their existences with reference to systemic occurrences, events at the level of populations rather than the level of the individual, outcomes on the basis of statistical probability rather than short-term local or individual heuristics and planning based on proper assessment of the mass of foreseeable contingencies instead of bids for popularity. Nevertheless, the demotic reliance on narrative comprehension still seems to remain a dominant impulse among humans presented with evidence that contradicts narrative interpretations. This paper discusses that condition with reference to Kahneman’s (2011) Systems 1 and 2, Clarke’s (2008, 2022) distinction of the systemic contingencies of communication and intelligence, Kahneman et al’s (2021) discussion of noise, plus recent discussions of narrative and complexity. It concludes that the proliferation of narrative and the decline in its larger progressive social functions, has provoked a crisis of the real, developed a tendency to disembodiment, lost its ambition to communicate while purporting to do, and increasingly carries an individual rather than a social rationale.

Sustainable Development Goals16 Peace, justice and strong institutions
Middlesex University ThemeCreativity, Culture & Enterprise
Research GroupEnglish Language and Literature
LanguageEnglish
PublisherImprint Academic
JournalCybernetics & Human Knowing
ISSN0907-0877
Electronic1756-6177
Publication dates
PrintAug 2023
Publication process dates
Deposited16 Jun 2023
Accepted30 May 2023
Output statusIn press
Copyright Statement

This is an author's accepted manuscript version of an article published by Imprint Academic in the journal 'Cybernetics and Human Knowing'.

Web address (URL)https://www.chkjournal.com/node/455
https://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/imp/chk
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