Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

This post examines Walter Fisher's narrative theory, the idea that "people are essentially storytellers... individuals approach their social world in a narrative mode and make decisions and act within this narrative framework." This is contrasted with what he says is the "prevailing paradigm in rhetoric, communications, and social theories: the rational paradigm inherited from Plato and Aristotle." I think there are other (better) options though. One would be the broadly constructivist approach taken by George Lakoff in this theory of frames. And another would be my own perspective, which is that people are basically pattern recognizers. When we examine human discourse we can find elements of each. But I really do think that the rational and narrative paradigms are the weakest of the lot.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
stephen@downes.ca

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Last Updated: Oct 25, 2020 01:38 a.m.