[SydPhil] HPS Research Seminar, Monday 09, October 2023 at 5:30pm

HPS Admin hps.admin at sydney.edu.au
Wed Oct 4 09:00:00 AEDT 2023

School of History and Philosophy of Science


[The University of Sydney]


Narrative Gaslighting

Regina Fabry (MQ)

Dates: Monday, 09/10/2023
Time: 5:30pm
Venue: Madsen Building (F09), Level 3, Room 331
How to register: Free, no registration required

Abstract: Self-narration, many philosophers assume, makes important contributions to our mental lives. Two views on self-narration can be distinguished. On the internalistic view, self-narration unfolds in the secluded mind and does not require overt communication. On the situated view, self-narration often depends on the conversational interaction with an interlocutor. The situated view has many advantages over its internalistic rival, including theoretical consistency and empirical plausibility. Yet, research on situated conversational self-narration has been shaped by a harmony bias, which consists in the tacit assumption that interlocutors contribute to self-narration in ways that are beneficial and supportive, rather than malicious and harmful. This paper seeks to mitigate the harmony bias by considering the phenomenon of gaslighting, which is characterised by an interlocutor’s erosion of someone’s sense of epistemic and moral competence. In cases of narrative gaslighting, this erosion proceeds by maliciously interfering with the self-narrator’s mnemonic, interpretational, and conceptual abilities. Bringing together research on situated self-narration and gaslighting for the first time, it will be argued that the emerging account of narrative gaslighting has important implications for both.

Bio: Regina Fabry is a philosopher of mind and cognition with expertise in empirically informed research on 4E cognition and enculturation. She is a Lecturer and ARC Discovery Early Career Research Awardee in the Department of Philosophy at Macquarie University. Her research interests include narrative practices, literacy, mental disorders, grief, mind-wandering, mathematical cognition, and human-technology interactions. Currently, Regina works on her ARC DECRA project “Living to tell, telling to live: Experience, narrative and the self.” In this project, she explores the relationship between lived experience and self-narrative by integrating work in philosophy, the cognitive sciences, and cognitive narratology.


[The University of Sydney]

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