【Seminar】Dan Hutto_Self-Narrative and Embodied Habit: The Case of Addiction Recovery


Topic:Self-Narrative and Embodied Habit: The Case of Addiction Recovery
Speaker:Dan Hutto


“Building on prior work (Hutto & Gallagher 2017, Hutto forthcoming), this paper makes a case for taking narrative therapy seriously as means for modest self-shaping in the domain of mental health. Focusing on addiction recovery, it will provide a worked philosophical analysis designed to show how, in principle, a person’s self-narrative tendencies can connect to, interact with, and reshape their embodied habits and vice versa. It will be shown how both embodied and narrative habits can, potentially, make a difference in supporting or undermining the recovery goals people set. The aim of this effort is to demonstrate both the possibility and the value of a mutualist, interactionist stance on the question of direction of influence of embodied activity and self-narratives (see, e.g., Menary 2008, Dings 2019). Key to its success is conceiving of habits as dynamic, flexible, in situ embodied responses that exhibit both receptivity and resistance to aspects of environments, rather than thinking of habits as wholly blind automatic, stimulus-response mechanisms (Hutto & Roberston 2020). Finally, to round off the analysis of the potential value of narrative therapy, attention will be given to new work, by, Dings & Glas (2020) and McConnell & Golova (2022), on the topic of self-ambiguity – understood as uncertainty about one’s essential characteristics; uncertainty about how to authentically shape oneself; and uncertainty about whether one’s self-narrative represents who one really is.”