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)
The paper analyses the philosophical aspects of the 'religion - national mythology' synthesis. The main directions of the study are as follows: 1. Both on the individual and social plan, the orientation of the transcending universalizing power of religion could vary depending on the macro-social movements a community /or an individual/ is involved in. For the individual as for the community, religion could be a cultural position transcending ego and ethno-centrism, mono-cultural tendencies; in situations of internal differentiation and disintegration (...) of these entities, the universalizing binding role of religion is partialized and determined by various social groups, who are often in opposition to each other due to their economic political, ethnic, psychological features; 2. This process is usually related to the invalidation of universally uniting religious-moral bonds and values and intensification of differences: power, property, doctrinal differences to a shift of the weight center from internal spiritual movements /particularly typical of mysticism, asceticism, priesthood/ on to practical social action - reformist heresies, the various practical theologies of revolution, liberation, the religious-motivated wars; 3. When reduced to an ethnic, political, or state emblem, religious affiliation to Judaism, Islam Orthodoxy, Catholicism, Protestantism has become and still remain a tool for the sacralization of military and political conflicts. In religion-motivated conflict situations, opposing parties de-sacralize their Sacred Books as their acts contradict the books' moral content; 4. The power of historical mythologies is in reverse proportion to the capacity of a nation to periodically renew its social life world - its psychological attitudes labour relations, political stereotypes; 5. In this type of situation religion is usually reduced to 'belonging', as G. Davie put it, at the expense of 'believing' and a corresponding moral behavior. The religious universe becomes thus subordinated to partial group values, instead of standing above them. (shrink)
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)
In the beginning, says the ancient Hindu text the _Rg Veda_, was man. And from man’s sacrifice and dismemberment came the entire world, including the hierarchical ordering of human society. _The Head Beneath the Altar _is the first book to present a wide-ranging study of Hindu texts read through the lens of René Girard’s mimetic theory of the sacrificial origin of religion and culture. For those interested in Girard and comparative religion, the book also performs a careful reading of Girard’s (...) work, drawing connections between his thought and the work of theorists like Georges Dumézil and Giorgio Agamben. Brian Collins examines the idea of sacrifice from the earliest recorded rituals through the flowering of classical mythology and the ancient Indian institutions of the duel, the oath, and the secret warrior society. He also uncovers implicit and explicit critiques in the tradition, confirming Girard’s intuition that Hinduism offers an alternative anti-sacrificial worldview to the one contained in the gospels. (shrink)
I explore how the "synthesis of history and nature" that defines the Anthropocene might signal the advent of the “new mythology” Schelling hoped would emerge from his Naturphilosophie. The epistemological dimension of this new mythology is to be understood through Schelling’s idea of Mitwissenschaft, in which humanity is the essential active agent in the reflexive system of the world. Such an inquiry derives not from a sentimental longing for an enchanted world, but from the impending “annihilation of nature” (...) Schelling foresaw in 1804. The resulting organic episteme introduces a new realism in which nature, because absolute, becomes normative. (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.
The Mahapuranas embody the received tradition of Hindu mythology. This anthology contains fresh translations of these myths, only a few of which have ever been available in English before, thus providing a rich new portion of Hindu mythology. The book is organized into six chapters. "Origins" contains myths relating to creation, time, and space. "Seers, Kings and Supernaturals" relates tales of rivers, trees, animals, demons, and men, particularly heroes and sages. Myths about the chief gods are dealt with (...) in three separate chapters: "Krsna," "Visnu," and "Siva." The chapter "The Goddess" presents stories of the wives and lovers of the gods, as well as of Kali, the savage battle goddess. In their introductions, the editors provide a historical setting in which to discuss Hindu mythology as well as a full analysis of its basic sources. The many names given the gods and goddesses in the Sanskrit texts have been retained since their multiplicity is an essential part of the richness of the original. The editors have provided a thorough glossary to make these names accessible. (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 exact nature of the relation between science and Scripture in the thought of Francis Bacon is a well-studied but controversial field. In this paper, it is shown that Bacon, though convinced that there exists no enmity between the book of God's wisdom and the book of God's power , usually tries to separate knowledge acquired by reason from knowledge acquired by faith . In his exposition of the principle of the conservation of matter, however, Bacon seems to find himself (...) constrained to invoke Scriptural truths in a manner that he usually disapproves of. In order to establish this principle, which is so essential to his overall scientific program, he appeals both to the Bible and Greek mythology in a way that points to certain conceptual tensions within his natural philosophy. (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)
Bruce Lincoln suggests that myth is "that small class of stories that possess both credibility and authority". 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". In the article I explore the mythology that underlies the clinical management of transgender children. (shrink)
Essays on a Science of Mythology is a cooperative work between C. Kerényi, who has been called "the most psychological of mythologists," and C. G. Jung, who has been called "the most mythological of psychologists." Kerényi contributes an essay on the Divine Child and one on the Kore, together with a substantial introduction and conclusion. Jung contributes a psychological commentary on each essay. Both men hoped, through their collaboration, to elevate the study of mythology to the status of (...) a science.In "The Primordial Child in Primordial Times" Kerényi treats the child-God as an enduring and significant figure in Greek, Norse, Finnish, Etruscan, and Judeo-Christian mythology. He discusses the Kore as Athena, Artemis, Hecate, and Demeter-Persephone, the mother-daughter of the Eleusinian mysteries. Jung speaks of the Divine Child and the Maiden as living psychological realities that provide continuing meaning in people's lives.The investigations of C. Kerényi are continued in a later study, Eleusis: Archetypal Image of Mother and Daughter. (shrink)
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)
Este texto aborda la última parte de la producción teórica de León Rozitchner, en donde se tematiza el mito estructurante de nuestra cultura: el cristianismo. Mediante una interpretación freudiana de las Confesiones de San Agustín, Rozitchner retoma con originalidad la idea marxista que considera a la crítica de la religión como el presupuesto de toda crítica. Se ponen de relieve los núcleos religiosos encubiertos en la secularización moderna que el capitalismo obstaculiza y se arriba a una idea de cuerpo que (...) permite revisar críticamente antiguas dicotomías transidas de religión, para abrir espacio a nuevos modos de contar la Historia. Desde la perspectiva del materialismo histórico, se intenta aquí dar cuenta del pasaje de la crítica de la ideología a la crítica de la mitología. Esta última propicia la reflexión sobre los fundamentos simbólicos que podrían dar lugar a procesos emancipatorios. Finalmente, se muestra que la voluntad de construir una teoría del sujeto y una crítica cultural es, en la obra de Rozitchner, el correlato de una permanente reflexión sobre la propia identidad. This text focuses on the last part of the theoretical production of León Rozitchner, in which he assesses the structuring myth of our culture: Christianism. By means of a Freudian interpretation of Saint Augustin’s “Confessions”, Rozitchner retakes in an original way the Marxist idea of criticism of religion as the presumption of every criticism. The religious core hidden by modern secularization, hindered by capitalism, is revealed, and the notion of a corpus emerges, which allows critical revision of ancient dichotomies beset by religion, in order to open paths towards new ways of telling History. From the perspective of historical materialism, we try to put forward the passage from criticism of ideology to criticism of mythology. The latter promotes a reflection on the symbolic foundations that may give way to emancipatory processes. Finally, we show that in Rozitchner´s work, the will to construct a theory of the subject and the criticism of culture is the result of a perennial reflection on identity in itself. (shrink)
Proportionality is the tool of choice for the EU Court of Justice’s review of measures affecting the enjoyment of fundamental rights. The use of proportionality is normally beneficial, as it ensures that public authorities pursue public policies without any avoidable waste of fundamental rights protection. In the field of internet-based activities, however, certain recurrent elements make proportionality unfit for the purpose. This article argues against the systematic recourse to the mythology of proportionality in the judgments of the Court of (...) Justice of the EU. Most instances of putative proportionality assessment are in fact window-dressing for pragmatic or policy-based arguments. The claim relies on a critical reading of the recent case law of the Court in internet-related disputes. Accordingly, it is preferable to abandon the proportionality test when certain factual conditions—which are commonplace in the digital milieu—prevail. (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.
Schrödinger's Cat & The Golden Bough addresses the relationship between science and mythology from the starting points of Frazer's The Golden Bough and Erwin Schrödinger's famous cat. From the Greek origins of modern scientific thought, Bancroft traces the intertwining and separation of mythology, magic, and science through the ages. Drawing on psychology, mythology, literature, and history of science, the author, a physicist who works with electromagnetic Field Theory, presents a fascinating and provocative cross-disciplinary study.
When Carl Jung and Carl Kerenyi got together to collaborate on this book, their aim was to elevate the study of mythology to a science. Kerenyi wrote on two of the most ubiquitous myths, the Divine Child and The Maiden, supporting the core 'stories' with both an introduction and a conclusion. Jung then provided a psychological analysis of both myths. He defined myth as a story about heroes interacting with the gods. Having long studied dreams and the subconscious, Jung (...) identified certain dream patterns common to everyone. These 'archetypes' have developed through the centuries, and enable modern people to react to situations in much the same way as our ancestors. From nuclear annihilation to AIDS and Ebola, we continue to engage the gods in battle. _Science of Mythology_ provides an account of the meaning and the purpose of mythic themes that is linked to modern life: the heroic battles between good and evil of yore are still played out, reflected in contemporary fears. (shrink)
The exact nature of the relation between science and Scripture in the thought of Francis Bacon is a well-studied but controversial field. In this paper, it is shown that Bacon, though convinced that there exists no enmity between the book of God's wisdom and the book of God's power, usually tries to separate knowledge acquired by reason from knowledge acquired by faith. In his exposition of the principle of the conservation of matter, however, Bacon seems to find himself constrained to (...) invoke Scriptural truths in a manner that he usually disapproves of. In order to establish this principle, which is so essential to his overall scientific program, he appeals both to the Bible and Greek mythology in a way that points to certain conceptual tensions within his natural philosophy. (shrink)
Classical Mythology in Context encourages students to directly encounter and explore ancient myths and to understand them in broader interpretative contexts. Featuring a modular structure that coincides with the four main components of a classical mythology course--history, theory, comparison, and reception--each chapter is built around one central figure or topic. Classical Mythology in Context provides: A sustained discussion of religious practices and sacred places that offers a key approach to the historical contextualization of Greek myths An introduction (...) to--and integration of--theoretical approaches to myth in each chapter that shows how these approaches affect the ways in which students understand myths and mythic figures Ample selections of primary sources, all from the Oxford World's Classics series A robust comparative approach examining Greek myths alongside other myths from the Mediterranean Basin and the Ancient Near East An approach to the reception of myths as interpretation and reflection in Western art, with an emphasis on contemporary culture An Ancillary Resource Center that includes PowerPoint-based lecture slides and an Instructor's Resource Manual A Companion Website that provides additional student and instructor resources FEATURES Compelling and relevant illustrations provide visual evidence for placing myths in context Abundant maps help students locate all sites in Greece, the larger Greek world, and the Ancient Near East A detailed Timeline for Greece, Rome, and the Ancient Near East helps students situate key works within their cultural and historical contexts "The Essentials": In Part I, these boxes appear at the start of each chapter, introducing students to the most essential information about a god or goddess and previewing that chapter's content. In Part II, they appear whenever a new hero or heroine is introduced. "Before You Read" section for each primary source and critical reading is prefaced with a brief contextual overview followed by questions that encourage critical thinking Paired chapters explore different aspects of a god, hero, or heroine, equipping students with analytical tools that can be applied to other topics A list of Key Terms at the end of each chapter helps students review and retain its most important points A "For Further Exploration" annotated bibliography at the end of each chapter provides a starting point for students who wish to learn more about the chapter's content A Select Bibliography at the end of the book, divided by chapter emphasizes scholarly works that are accessible to students A Combined Glossary and Index includes a pronunciation key, the Greek form, and brief description for all figures, places, and rituals in the text. (shrink)
First published in 1918, Ernst Bertram's _Nietzsche: Attempt at a Mythology_ substantially shaped the image of Nietzsche for the generation between the wars. It won the Nietzsche Society's first prize and was admired by luminous contemporaries including André Gide, Hermann Hesse, Gottfried Benn, and Thomas Mann. Although translated into French in 1932, the book was never translated into English following the decline of Nietzsche's and Bertram's reputations after 1945. Now, with Nietzsche's importance for twentieth-century thought undisputed, the work by one (...) of his most influential interpreters can at last be read in English. Employing a perspectival technique inspired by Nietzsche himself, Bertram constructs a densely layered portrait of the thinker that shows him riven by deep and ultimately irresolvable cultural, historical, and psychological conflicts. At once lyrical and intensely probing, richly complex yet thematically coherent, Bertram's book is a masterpiece in a forgotten tradition of intellectual biography. (shrink)
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)
In this concise but wide-ranging study, Luc Brisson describes how the myths of Greece and Rome were transmitted from antiquity to the Renaissance. He argues that philosophy was responsible for saving myth from historical annihilation. Although philosophy was initially critical of myth, mythology was progressively reincorporated into philosophy through allegory. Brisson reveals how philosophers employed allegory and how it enabled myth to take on a number of different interpretive systems throughout the centuries: moral, physical, psychological, political, and even metaphysical. (...) “This wonderful book confirms Brisson’s status as one of the major authorities in the field of classical antiquity. Overall, and with this excellent translation, the book is invaluable.”—_Choice_ “A compressed overview with moments of great insight.... Its strengths lie in the details Brisson is able to work into this brief treatment.”—Peter Struck, _Journal of Religion_. (shrink)
A new translation of an important text for Greek mythology used as a source book by classicists from antiquity to Robert Graves, The Library of Greek Mythology is a complete summary of early Greek myth. Using the ancient system of detailed histories of the great families, it contains invaluable genealogical diagrams for maximum clarity. The introduction gives details of sources and narrative traditions, and there is comprehensive annotation. An indispensable reference work for anyone interested in classical mythology.
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)
It’s a cornerstone of epistemology that knowledge requires truth – that is, that knowledge is factive. Allan Hazlett boldly challenges orthodoxy by arguing thatthe ordinary concept of knowledge is not factive. On this basis Hazlett further argues that epistemologists shouldn’t concern themselves with the ordinary concept of knowledge, or knowledge ascriptions and related linguistic phenomena. I argue that either Hazlett is wrong about the ordinary concept of knowledge, or he’s right in a way that leaves epistemologists to carry on exactly (...) as they have, paying attention to much the same things they always did. (shrink)