The Logic of Narratives: Or, The Power of History Over Philosophy
When I first began thinking about the “logic of narratives” the term “narrative logic” came to mind. Based on what I read here that term doesn’t apply, or at least doesn’t apply fully, in relation to my line of thought. I am not concerned with how an “audience may create events and explanations or otherwise elucidate details not included in the narrative.” I am concerned with how narratives create meaning while not apparently following the strictures of logic—meaning logic as conceived by philosophers.
Specifically I’m amazed at how our minds do not seem to need, nor even want, all of the “connective tissue” needed to make a logical argument when reading narratives. It is true that rational readers will tolerate neither large gaps in evidence nor nonsensical pairings of the same. But some mysterious sense of story seems to fill in for gaps in logic (in one way, then, I am thinking about “narrative logic”). Yet I’m less concerned with the mystery of the audience in this process than how it can occur generally and still not hurt the power of the narrative. The narrative becomes, it seems, larger and more important than logic in giving us a basis of understanding. This applies to both the storyteller and the reader.
Plausibly ordered evidence, presented coherently and with some through-line, and with some style (simple to complex), seems to trump all forms of argument presented, as by philosophers, in logical form. How is this so? What does it say about our minds? About logic as taught in philosophy? And finally about the power of storytelling—of history? – TL