Aging, irony, and wisdom: On the narrative psychology of later life

Randall, W.L. (2013). Aging, irony, and wisdom: On the narrative psychology of later life. Theory Psychology March 10, 2013 0959354312470754.

Abstract: This paper introduces the idea that aging inclines us naturally toward an ironic stance on life. The conscious cultivation of that stance through some form of narrative reflection is linked to the development of wisdom, where wisdom is understood in terms of deepened knowledge of the “stories” of our lives. Such reflection heightens our awareness of the inherently ironic nature of our inner world—a complex, quasi-literary world toward which we occupy multiple points of view. In exploring these ideas, the concept of narrative foreclosure is discussed, as is that of “positive aging.”

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(Something interesting I found)Posted:Mar 01 2013, 12:00 AM by brendah
  • Ron C. de Weijze said:

    Unfortunately, I have no access to the journal, since I am a private researcher (MSc theoretical- and social psychology). I can see where the irony comes from, if I read one of the fathers of the narrative movement, who followed Wittgenstein, John Shotter. He "moved on by backing away" from the narrative source (1). I blame Nessie sticking its head above the waters again in 1968, when youth called for Postmodernism once more, to repeat the trick Hegel pulled with Kant, declaring the objective (also) subjective and turning painstakingly achieve dualism back into monism, for the rulers to rule (the irony indeed of Hippies against legislators, wanting to rule themselves). Duality of origin is a much finer solution to what is now supposedly taken care of by cultural pluralism, moral relativism and political correctness. When Postmodernists claim that Bergson has shown them the way by criticizing Kant's dogmatism, creating the need to dynamically break away from ideas categorically demanding their own realization, let them take a look at the next page, where he defends duality of origin against monistic pluralism (2). To age positively is, in Bergson's terms, the intuition of duration and not giving up until we have lived the last second of the totality of our lives and who knows what lies beyond, in the retrograde power of pure judgment (cf. Kant), as he called it.

    (1) Shotter, J. (2005). "Moving on by backing away". In G. Yancy, "Narrative Identities: Psychologists Engaged In Self-construction". London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

    (2) Bergson, H. (1932). "The Two Sources Of Morality And Religion" p79. London: Macmillan And Company Limited.


    May 22, 2013 10:37 AM
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