Notes on Facing The Biographical Illusion Without Getting Lost in the Process

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Author: Alex Pereira, The City University of New York, USA
Email: alexander.pereira@kbcc.cuny.edu
Published: June 1, 2018
https://doi.org/10.22492/ijah.5.1.01

Citation: Pereira, A. (2018). Notes on Facing The Biographical Illusion Without Getting Lost in the Process. IAFOR Journal of Arts & Humanities, 5(1). https://doi.org/10.22492/ijah.5.1.01


Abstract

This article claims that biography is an area of knowledge. The argument is formulated by examining the epistemological gaps identified by Pierre Bourdieu in his harsh criticism of this genre. It also analyzes the conceptual and methodological arguments that defenders of biography (such as Franco Ferrarrotti, François Dosse, and Giovanni Levi) have made to place this genre at the heart of innovative trends in the humanities. The goal of this study is to show both the epistemological and hermeneutic potential of biography without risking the centrality of the individual’s freedom in constructing historical analysis.

Keywords

biography, epistemology, hermeneutics, biographical illusion