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In Defense of Narrative AuthenticityResponse to the Discussion of Pugh et al. and Nyholm and O’Neill

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Project Authenticity, Narrative and Neural Modification
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics
Volume (Issue) 29(4)
Page(s) 656 - 667
Title of proceedings Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics
DOI 10.1017/s0963180120000407

Open Access

Type of Open Access Green OA Embargo (Freely available via Repository after an embargo)


This paper ties in with the ongoing debate on authenticity and the influence of Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) on authenticity, in particular with the exchange between Pugh et al. and Nyholm and O’Neill. Both argue against a narrative approach to authenticity, which will be defended in this paper. First, it is shown that the critique they offer does not hold against a more refined view on narrativism. Second, a narrative approach to authenticity is introduced. To be authentic is to have a self-narrative 1) that is sustainable in the sense that it is easy to uphold because it is not in tension with one’s lived experience, and 2) that constitutes a well-defined person, which means that vastly different, more coherent and intelligible counternarratives are excluded. Third, the advantages of a narrative account of authenticity are discussed, including a short overview of the influence of DBS on narrative authenticity.