Abstract: I explore the ancient idea that life is some kind of dramatic or artistic performance. How seriously and literally ought we to take this idea that life is like a dramatic performance, even that it is one? There are metaphysical and logical questions about whether and how self-creation and self-constitution are possible; and there are normative questions about which norms sensibly govern self-constituting performances. Here I discuss the normative questions associated with the ideas that life is a performance and that the self is something that both emerges in and is constituted by the performance. Three contemporary psychopoetic conceptions of persons – “day-by-day persons,” “ironic persons,” and “strong poetic persons” are examined in order to discuss whether there are legitimate normative constraints on “performing oneself,” and, if so, what these might be.
- Philosophy and Creativity