Korijeni pojmova oblika i tvari: začetci filozofije u praslavenskom mitu i hrvatskoj predaji [The roots of the concepts of form and matter: The beginnings of philosophy in the Proto-Slavic myth and in the Croatian tradition]

In Medhótá śrávaḥ II: Misao i slovo. Zbornik u čast Mislava Ježića povodom sedamdesetoga rođendana. Zagreb: Hrvatska akademija znanosti i umjetnosti. pp. 339-355 (2023)
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Abstract

The paper aims to show that by abstracting from a specific mythical historical- stylistic context and “ideation” of the notion of the Proto-Slavic deities Perun and Veles, especially in Croatian tradition, symbolic archetypes and abstract notions of form and primordial matter (materia prima) can be extracted from mythical content. We refer to mythical texts and contents according to the reconstructions and materials brought by Radoslav Katičić, and comparative analysis by Mislav Ježić. We distinguish form (1) as that in which identity and possibility of a thing consists, (2) as the reasonableness of judgment and the form of existence, and (3) as the specific structure of a thing, which unites its parts and aspects as a whole and constitutes its internal necessity. These formative notions are relativized and nullified in Veles’ appearances, in which the archetypal notion of primordial matter is encoded. Examples of Platō’s dialogues historically confirm certain aspects of decoding myth as constitutive of philosophy. The above approach also opens a view of the roots of Croatian philosophical thought, which in its genesis can be traced back to Proto-Slavic mythical archetypes. With the implementation of Christianity, the questions of identity, reason and the structure of the whole are raised radically and sharply, as shown by the text of Trpimir’s grant (852).

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Srećko Kovač
Institute of Philosophy, Zagreb

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