Lots of people tell a good story

Years ago, a friend (always liked to argue, even when he had not even a passing familiarity with the topic), said that everything was story-telling, and that lots of people could tell a good story. Since I read a large number of good stories (political opinion) every week, no two in agreement on any topic, I have come to see the wisdom of his views (even though I think he just pulled it from some odd bodily orifice).

I went looking for the phrase, “understanding the world through narrative”, and found this. It is narrowly focused, but perhaps the authors realize that it applies to any type of understanding. Since I have been trying, unsuccessfully, incoherently, to write on this topic for years, this is a welcome find. I will have to see who else has written about this, with a broader perspective. I have a suspicion that the Churchlands, philosophers, may have. I am more concerned in understanding epistemology, the theory of knowledge than in teaching safety. The teaching part is good as well since I do that in a couple of areas. It sounds as if this might be part of “the theory of narrative thinking.”


“There are two ways of knowing and understanding the world, through narrative (stories) and through formal logical paradigms. Narrative thinking involves knowing through stories heard, stories lived, and stories told. Persons’ goals, plans, beliefs, attitudes, and knowledge are influenced by their culture tales (stories). These narratives also direct persons’ judgments, decisions, conduct, actions, and behaviors (see Figure 1). Stories are universal and powerful guides for living and understanding of our own and others’ conduct.”

Piercy, Larry R.; Cole, Henrey; and McKnight, Robert

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