Grief: A Case Study

Peter Goldie

in The Mess Inside

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780199230730
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741340 | DOI:
Grief: A Case Study

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In Chapter 3 these ideas are applied to narratives of grief, and, more widely, of narratives of past traumatic experiences. Against the vast majority of contemporary philosophical views about emotion, it is argued that grief (and other emotions) is a kind of process, not a kind of mental state or event. Furthermore, a narrative is the ideal kind of account of the process of grief. It is then discussed how our capacity to narrate our past breaks down after some kinds of traumatic experience. This is considered in relation to the desire for emotional closure. In both fiction and in real life narratives, emotional closure, like narrative closure, is something of an ideal: closure, however much aspired to, is never really reached, and remains illusory.

Keywords: grief; narrative; emotion; traumatic experience; closure

Chapter.  8732 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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