Postmodernism makes it difficult to maintain, among other things, that historical facts are discovered or found, that these 'facts', things
like names, dates, places and events, somehow speak for themselves, although simple reflection should be enough to establish that, to echoe Richard Rorty, "the world does not speak,
we do". It is we who speak for names, dates, places, and events, and in so doing, transform a meaningless sequence of letters or series of numbers into an historical person or epoch of some
importanee. This process of speaking-for otherwise disparate 'facts' is called 'narrative' and narrative, as Roland Barthes once observed,
seems to be "simply there like life itself . . . international, transhistorical, transcultural".
But philosophy has also been presumed to be "international, transhistorical, transcultural" and "simply there like life itself," and
philosophy is often thought to be a non-narrative form of language. Narrative is thought to deal with what is transitory, ephemeral, and contingent, what the Platonic Socrates calls the world of Becoming, while philosophy deals what persists through change, what is necessarily true. Philosophy's claim to be international,
transhistorical, and transcultural is also a function of the "objects" it studies; indeed, philosophy often reads as if it were speaking for
these objects, and not for the philosopher who is writing it. Thus does philosophy concern Reality or the world of Being, although the author to whom the distinction between Being and Becoming is
usually attributed--Plato--wrote dialogues in which the speaking is done by characters and not by Being or Reality, nor for that matter, by Plato himself. Strangely, when Plato's dialogues are seen as philosophy they are typically not se en as dialogues; rather, the philosophy in the dialogues is identified with what Socrates--or in his absence, the Eleatic or Athenian Stranger--say plus what their statements logically imply.