This study explains how the myths of Greece and Rome were transmitted from antiquity to the Renaissance. Luc Brisson argues that philosophy was ironically responsible for saving myth from historical annihilation. Although philosophy was initially critical of myth because it could not be declared true or false and because it was inferior to argumentation, mythology was progressively reincorporated into philosophy through allegorical exegesis. Brisson shows to what degree allegory was employed among philosophers and how it enabled myth to take (...) on a number of different interpretive systems throughout the centuries: moral, physical, psychological, political, and even metaphysical. How Philosophers Saved Myths also describes how, during the first years of the modern era, allegory followed a more religious path, which was to assume a larger role in Neoplatonism. Ultimately, Brisson explains how this embrace of myth was carried forward by Byzantine thinkers and artists throughout the Middle Ages and Renaissance after the triumph of Chistianity, Brisson argues, myths no longer had to agree with just history and philosophy but the dogmas of the Church as well. (shrink)
Jamake Highwater is a master storyteller and one of our most visionary writers, hailed as "an eloquent bard, whose words are fire and glory" (Studs Terkel) and "a writer of exceptional vision and power" (Ana"is Nin). Author of more than thirty volumes of nonfiction, fiction, and poetry, Highwater--considered by many to be the intellectual heir of Joseph Campbell--has long been intrigued by how our mythological legacies have served as a foundation of modern civilization. Now, in The Mythology of Transgression, (...) he uses his remarkable narrative powers to offer a personal and extraordinarily far-ranging examination of how people who stand outside of society--by dint of their sexual orientation, physical appearance, ideas, artistic inclinations, or ethnic heritage--often achieve lasting, even profound influence upon the culture at large. Drawing from a stunningly rich variety of sources ranging from the arts and literature to biology, physics, psychology, and anthropology, Highwater looks at his own outsider status--as a gay man, an artist, and an orphaned Native American--in an attempt to explore how mythologies from ancient times to the present have shaped the ways we think about social "abnormality" and alienation. Throughout, he points to a paradox at the center of Western values--the competing notions that the outsider is at once sinful and wise, that in everyday life the transgressor is ostracized, while in our most durable folklore and religious legends, heroes must break the rules to achieve greatness. Focusing in particular on homosexuality as a modern metaphor of transgression, Highwater brilliantly mixes personal anecdotes with wide ranging research, leading us on a tour through the history of social conformity and rejection, citing examples that span from Judeo-Christian-Islamic doctrines of good and evil, to the Navajo Nation's ambivalence toward the nature of sexuality, to Carson McCullers's treatment of physical deformity in the novella Member of the Wedding, to Descartes's theories of dualism. He also pays special attention to the debates currently raging in science regarding the biology of homosexuality and provides an engaging discussion of why we are motivated to seek a genetic basis of sexual orientation in the first place. Jamake Highwater has long been celebrated as a writer uniquely suited to give voice to the social outsider. Often provocative, always fascinating, The Mythology of Transgression is a tour de force of eloquent scholarship, a book that will prompt discussion and debate on the subject for years to come. (shrink)
Bruce Lincoln suggests that myth is "that small class of stories that possess both credibility and authority" (1992, 24). When studying the history of mythology we find that myths often are understood as something other people have—as if the group in question possesses the truth while others live by falsehoods. In examining contemporary North American society, we can see how Judeo-Christian narratives structure popular and medical discourses regarding sex and gender. The idea that humans are born into male and (...) female, and male and female only , is a deeply held belief—so much so that it appears as fact rather than belief. Anthropologists such as Serena Nanda and Will Roscoe have documented the cross-cultural and historical "gender variants" who exist in societies where three or more genders are the norm. The origin of the belief in two sexes could well be the opening verses of Genesis where the origin of the human species is described in bipolar, dimorphic forms: "… in the image of God He created them; male and female created He them" (Genesis 1:27 NRSV). In the article I explore the mythology that underlies the clinical management of transgender children. (shrink)
Partly by way of contrast with a conception described by Kleist, Wittgenstein's notions of world?picture and mythology are explained and three types of statement playing a particularly important role with respect to our world?picture or pictures distinguished. Problems concerning sentences which contain normative elements are discussed and a test for what to count as a statement giving information about our world?picture is proposed. A mythology in Wittgenstein's sense is characterized as a structured, systematic set of models permitting analogical (...) development and the gradual change of previous paradigms. (shrink)
The paper analyses A.F. Losev''s argument forthe identity of dialectical and mythicalthinking which forms the key part of his theoryof absolute mythology. Losev claims thatdialectical thinking is limited byphenomenological intuition. He fails torecognise, however, that this intuition itselfis a product of thinking. The same is true ofLosev''s concept of `life'' that is designed tolimit intellectual reflection. The mystery ofthe Absolute is, contrary to Losev''s claim, nota threshold that dialectical thinking cannotcross, but it is, in fact, realised only bysuch thinking. (...) This has a bearing on theChristian Neoplatonist doctrine of energisticsymbolism, which also plays a crucial part inLosev''s philosophy of myth. Under the pressureof the Neoplatonist tradition Losev violatesthe demands of dialectical thinking in favourof myth''s essential mysticism. And yet, becauseof the dialectical relation between rationalismand mysticism, Losev''s attempt was not afailure, but a valuable contribution to thetask of illuminating this relation. (shrink)
(2013). Not Your Typical Frequent Flyer: Overcoming Mythology in Caring for Sickle Cell Disease Patients. The American Journal of Bioethics: Vol. 13, No. 4, pp. 18-20. doi: 10.1080/15265161.2013.767963.
Preface to the second edition -- Preface to the first edition -- Psycho-mythology : meschugge? -- Dreams and fantasies : manifestations 0f the mythological unconscious -- African-American dreaming and the "lion in the path" : racism and the cultural unconscious -- "Hapless" the Centaur : an archetypal image, amplification, and active imagination -- Pegasus and visionary experience : from the white winged horse to the "flying red horse" -- The bull, the labyrinth, and the Minotaur : from archaeology to (...) "archetypology" (with an apology to Ariadne) -- Griffins, gold, and dinosaurs : mythology and "fantastic paleontology" -- Dreaming of a unicorn : a comparison of Lacanian and Jungian interpretation -- "Destiny" and the call to heroism : a dream of vocation and individuation -- List of publications by Michael Vannoy Adams. (shrink)
This article discusses what David Berliner (2005) has called the perverse ?spectacle of fear? (208) surrounding issues of teacher quality and accountability in contemporary school reform. Drawing principally on the critical semiotics of Roland Barthes' essay, ?The World of Wrestling? (1957), it examines the way that this spectacle works to undermine public education and explicates the powerful mythology behind it. The article then concludes with some suggestions on how this destructive ?spectacle of fear? might potentially be disrupted using the (...) agencies of Deweyan ?strong democracy? (shrink)
The burning question of theodicy, raised by the cruel realities of the exile and its aftermath, drove the wisdom schools to creative theological work. By using the graphic language of wisdom mythology, the affirmation of Yahweh's lordship over the entire order of creation is made in such a way that the exile can now be seen to demand faith rather than resignation.
This article examines the development of the concept of the value chain from the linear to the virtual conception of the chain, through the evolution of the literature from Michael Porter’s writings of the mid 1990s to the theorists of e-business and e-commerce in the later 1990s I argue that Porter’s account employs white metaphors and that writings on the virtual value chain both extend the white metaphors of Porter’s linear chain, and suggest a pronouncedly metaphysical system of thought – (...) one which has correlates in areas of thought, including Renaissance Neo-Platonism, cybernetics and the discourse of cyberspace. I suggest that this offers a model of the advance of metaphor - of its usure, as described by Derrida in his White Mythology - and that this model can be synthesised with theviews of Ricoeur about the evolution of metaphor towards symbolism. When we apply these ideas of Derrida and Ricoeur to the development of the White Metaphor of the linear chain towards a progressive symbolism, we can see a correlation between the complex causality inferred as a feature of the virtual chain and the cosmological affinities of Renaissance notions of causation. (shrink)
I pose the following dilemma for Millikan's teleological theory of mental content. There is only one way that her theory can avoid Gauker's [(1995) Review of Millikan's White queen psychology and other essays for Alice, Philosophical Psychology, 8, 305-309] charge that it relies on an unexplained notion of mapping or isomorphism between mental state and world. Mental content must be explained in terms of the mapping relation that is required for mental state producing and consuming mechanisms to perform their biologically (...) proper functions, i.e. producing mental states that are consumed in systematically adaptive practical inferences. However, this proposal leads to unacceptably counterintuitive ascriptions of content to mythological beliefs and related desires: such beliefs and desires must "map onto" environmental states that make them adaptive, not onto the mythological states of affairs that (would) make them true or fulfilled. I conclude by discussing the merits and drawbacks of a potential solution to this problem: the view that the contents of mythological beliefs and desires are determined by the non-mythological concepts out of which they are constructed, rather than by the environmental states that make them adaptive. The affinities of this proposal with Pascal Boyer's recent theory of mythological concepts [(2001) Religion explained, New York: Basic Books] are also discussed. (shrink)
What are the states of consciousness in themselves, those pulses of mentality that follow one upon another in tight succession and constitute the stream of consciousness? William James conceives of each of them as being, typically, a complex unitary awareness that instantiates many features and takes a multiplicity of objects. In contrast, Brian O?Shaughnessy claims that the basic durational component of the stream of consciousness is the attention, which he understands to be something like a psychic space that is simultaneously (...) occupied by several experiences. Whereas, according to the first conception, emotion is a feature of a temporal segment of the stream of consciousness and colors through and through each consciousness state that instantiates it, the second conception considers an emotion to be a distinct one of a system of simultaneous experiences that interact with each other, for example, limiting each other?s number and intensity. Among other matters discussed is the two theorists? mutually contrasting conception of how the non-inferential awareness which we have of our states of consciousness is accomplished. (shrink)
Abstract. A special legal status is accorded to human rights within Western liberal democracies: They enjoy a priority over other human goods and are not subjected to the majoritarian principle. The underlying assumption—the idea that there are some human values that deserve special protection—implies the need for both a normative and a conceptual justification. This paper claims that neither can be provided. The normative justification is needed to support the priority of human rights over other human goods and to rank (...) and balance conflicting human rights, but it can't be provided because of the fact of pervasive value pluralism, the fact that human values are many, incompatible and incommensurable. The conceptual justification is needed to avoid arbitrariness in the interpretation of human rights at the adjudication stage. Such a justification is impossible, however, as the concept of human rights, and the concepts used to justify them and to solve their conflicts are "essentially contested concepts." The paper concludes that, provided that the interpretation of human rights presupposes value judgements and political choices, the special legal status accorded to human rights is not justified. (shrink)
What is commonly known as the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics, regarded as representing a unitary Copenhagen point of view, differs significantly from Bohr's complementarity interpretation, which does not employ wave packet collapse in its account of measurement and does not accord the subjective observer any privileged role in measurement. It is argued that the Copenhagen interpretation is an invention of the mid‐1950s, for which Heisenberg is chiefly responsible, various other physicists and philosophers, including Bohm, Feyerabend, Hanson, and Popper, having (...) further promoted the invention in the service of their own philosophical agendas. (shrink)
Scientism is a philosophy which purports to define what the world ‘really is’. It adopts what the philosopher Thomas Nagel called ‘an epistemological criterion of reality’, defining what is real as that which can be discovered by certain quite specific methods of investigation. As a consequence all features of experience not revealed by those methods are deemed ‘subjective’ in a way that suggests they are either not real, or lie beyond the scope of meaningful rational inquiry. This devalues capacities that (...) (we argue) are in fact essential components of good reasoning and virtuous practice. Ultimately, the implications of scientism for statements of value undermine value-judgements essential for science itself to have a sound basis. Scientism has implications, therefore, for ontology, epistemology and also for which claims we can assert as objective truths about the world. Adopting scientism as a world view will have consequences for reasoning and decision-making in clinical and other contexts. We analyse the implications of this approach and conclude that we need to reject scientism if we are to avoid stifling virtuous practice and to develop richer conceptions of human reasoning. (shrink)
This paper focuses on Warren Nutter’s The Extent of Enterprise Monopoly in the United States, 1899-1939. This started out as a (1949) doctoral dissertation at The University of Chicago, part of Aaron Director’s Free Market Study. Besides Director, O.H. Brownlee and Milton Friedman were closely involved with supervising it. It was published by The University of Chicago Press in 1951. In the 1950s the book was explicitly understood as belonging to the “Chicago School” (Dow and Abernathy 1963). By articulating the (...) content, context, and reception of Nutter’s monograph, this paper discusses four larger themes. First, I introduce the importance of Kuhnian conceptions of science to the methodological and institutional understanding of economics in the development of a ‘Chicago’ school of economics. I do this in context of previously unpublished Stigler-Kuhn exchange. While Thomas Kuhn was widely read and adopted in the social sciences and humanities in the 1960s and 70s (and thereafter), I argue that at ‘Chicago,’ proto-Kuhnian language can be found going back to the 1940s; in those early days it is partly used to disparage the achievements of economic theorizing as promoted by others. A more self-congratulatory Kuhnian self-understanding of economics as a mature paradigm starts to get adopted around 1955 by George Stigler. One important new claim is that the later Kuhnian language gets adopted in part to divest ‘Chicago’ from its shared roots with Institutionalist economics. So, this paper contributes to a better understanding of the formation of a shared narrative at ‘Chicago.’ Second, I introduce contextual themes from Milton Friedman’s writings in the late 40s and 50s to help us understand the nature of realism at Chicago. Nutter’s dissertation helps in reading and illuminating Milton Friedman’s famous 1953 methodology paper in historical and intellectual context. Third, while this chapter notes some of the political ramifications of Chicago economics, my main aim is to help explain the manner in which Chicago attempted to chart a distinctive methodological course. This methodology has often been described as Marshallian with debts to the large-scale NBER studies. Rather than going over familiar territory, I call attention to the importance of proxies in Nutter’s empirical methodology. It is an unappreciated feature of the inductive, quantitative method that focused on the component structures of the economy that characterizes Chicago’s methodological outlook in this period. I show this by comparing Nutter’s dissertation to work done by Stigler, then at Columbia. We know from Stigler’s correspondence with Friedman that in this period they discussed methodological matters. What is less well known is that Friedman is explicitly credited for Stigler’s methodological insights in Stigler's Five Lectures at LSE. The fifth lecture, “Competition in the United States,” covers similar territory as Nutter’s project. Comparing the work by Stigler and Nutter sheds light on the nature of Chicago methodology as it was being developed away from foundations laid by Frank Knight and Henry Simons in the late 1940s and 1950s and opening up the door to (right wing) social engineering as exemplified by Harberger. I present my analysis through the published critical reception of both works among economists. A fourth reason to focus on Nutter’s dissertation is that it was featured in a Fortune magazine article in January 1952. So, it provides a useful entry into how politically important ‘Chicago’ research was marketed to a wider audience. This connects to issues explored by Phil Mirowski and his students, Rob van Horn and Eddie Nik-kah. So, Nutter’s dissertation can help us see how ‘sponsored’ research looks at ‘Chicago at the time. This is especially important because it has been claimed that Director’s Free Market Study group promoted a change from classically liberal views on monopoly, which condemned labor and employer monopolies, to a more pro-business stance. (shrink)
Understanding the falsity of certain common beliefs helps students move toward better business ethics and a higher degree of moral management. This article explains one method for teaching moral management, by using ethical equation inequalities, and offers 10 implications and suggestions to managers.
In his best-selling The Time Falling Bodies Take to Light , William Irwin Thompson intrigued readers with his thoughts on mythology and sexuality. In his newest book, Coming Into Being: Artifacts and Texts in the Evolution of Consciousness , he takes the reader on a journey through the evolution of consciousness from the preverbal communications of early stone carvings, to the writings of Marcel Proust, around the monumental wrappings of Christo and up to the rebirth of interest in the (...) Taoist philosophy of Lao Tzu. Owing as much to the rhythmic constructions of jazz as to established methods of scholarship, Thompson plays a riff on biology and culture seeing the birth of the mind in Proust’s Madeleine, the displacement of humanity in Christo’s wrapping of the Reichstag and, in Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching , the path forward to a new planetary culture. In Coming Into Being , William Irwin Thompson presents a fascinating vision of our past, our present, and our future that no one will want to miss. (shrink)
Current scholarship has focused on analyzing how Arendt's storytelling corresponds to her political arguments. In following up this discussion, I offer a closer examination of the unusual myth Arendt uses to explain the condition of the modern age, a myth she refers to as the ?political nature of history.? I employ literary terms along with the standard vocabulary of political theory in shaping this reading of Arendt. Following Robert C. Pirro, I also consider Arendt's story as a tragedy, but in (...) the broadest sense, that of a collision of two goods, freedom and security. By describing Arendt's thought in this manner, I hope to reveal another way in which Arendt represents the call to action that she believes so crucial to humanity, as a summons to we flawed antiheroes through the device of a heroic myth. (shrink)
Hindu texts call into question our own gender conceptions; they tell us that desire for bisexual pleasure and the wish to belong to both sexes at the same time are very real, but unrealizable, except by those with magic gifts. Many myths bear witness to the existential perception of human beings as bisexual and to active bisexual transformations. Some may show the desire to be androgynous and, contrary to the dominant homophobic paradigm, present veiled images of a bisexuality fulfilled in (...) happiness and satisfaction. The episode evoking Chudala as a mistress of initiation and some variants in the magical forests of Shiva and Parvati illustrate this carefree, joyous way of crossing the gender barrier. (shrink)
This book provides the English-speaking world with a comprehensive account of the still largely unknown work of Schelling’s philosophy of mythology and revelation. Its achievement, however, is not archival but philosophical, elucidating the relation between Schelling and onto-theology. It explains how Schelling dealt with the problem of nihilism and onto-theology well before Nietzsche and Heidegger, arguing that Schelling surpasses onto-theology or the philosophy of presence a century prior to Heidegger. Overall, the author provocatively suggests that Heidegger is perhaps Schelling’s (...) genuine heir and by comprehensively interpreting Schelling’s multifaceted late lectures he analyzes issues as diverse as the Ancient relation between thinking and Being, the Medieval debate between voluntarism and intellectualism, the overcoming of modern subjectivism and German Idealism as well as many themes in contemporary philosophy. (shrink)