Myth and Philosophy: A Contest of Truths / Edition 1

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Myth and Philosophy is more than an interpretive study, inspired by Nietzsche and Heidegger, of the historical relationship between myth and philosophy in ancient Greece. Its conclusions go beyond the historical case study and amount to a defense of the intelligibility of myth against an exclusively 'rational' or 'objective' view of the world.

Hatab pleads for a pluralistic notion of truth, one which permits different forms of understanding and surrenders the supposed need for a uniform or even hierarchical conception of truth.

The historical displacement of myth by philosophy in ancient Greece is Hatab's point of departure. Rationality and science emerged as the revolutionary overthrow of myth -- but that revolution is not beyond criticism, for myth presents a meaningful expression of the world, different from, and not always commensurate with, the kind of understanding sought by philosophers. The notion that philosophy has corrected the ignorance of the past is unwarranted; furthermore, philosophy continues to exhibit elements of the mythic world from which it emerged.

Myth and Philosophy offers a general analysis of myth and a specific analysis of Greek myth. Hatab distinguishes the different senses of truth found in mytho-poetic and rational-scientific disclosures, and presents an original treatment of Plato and Aristotle, challenging their criticisms of traditional myth.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780812691160
  • Publisher: Open Court Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 1/1/1990
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 397
  • Product dimensions: 6.02 (w) x 8.99 (h) x 1.04 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface xi
Introduction 1
I A Phenomenological Analysis of Myth 17
The General Framework 17
Lived World
Sacred and profane
Existential transcendence
Myth and Sense 29
Myth and Conceptual Reason 30
General Themes 39
Myth and the establishment of world
The existential circle
Consciousness and the self
Myth, art, and appearance
Myth and reflection
II Greek Myth and Religion 47
General Characteristics 47
Religion of the earth
Gods and humans
The Olympian-Titan distinction
The Nonrational and Nonconscious in Greek Religion 56
Sacred madness
The shaman
Hesiod's Theogony 63
III Epic Poetry 69
The World in Epic Poetry 69
The Self in Epic Poetry 72
The heroic ideal
The noncentralized self
The divine-human relation
The Beginnings of a Break with the Epic World 88
IV Lyric Poetry in the Archaic Age 97
The Archaic World View 98
The Emergence of Self-Consciousness in Lyric Poetry 103
Pindar: Heroism's Refrain 108
V Tragic Poetry 113
Tragedy and Greek Religion 113
Nietzsche on tragedy
The link with epic poetry Dionysus
Tragedy and the Dionysian Tradition 130
The Self in Tragic Poetry 132
The Tragic Poets 134
Tragedy and Myth 149
VI The Advent of Philosophy 157
The Beginnings: Hesiod and Thales 160
The First Philosophers 164
Time and Process 191
Early Philosophy and Myth 193
Consciousness, Unity, and Philosophy 199
Cultural Resistance to Philosophy 202
VII Plato 207
Revolutionary Elements in Platonism 208
The reflective individual
A new view of the soul
New intellectual criterial
Traditional Elements in Platonism 223
A correlation between knowing and doing
The social self
The rejection of Sophistic relativism and humanism
Aristocracy in platonism
Intuition in platonism
Plato and Myth 237
The Timaeus
Plato's criticism of traditional myth
Mythical and phenomenological aspects of Plato's Philosophy
VIII Aristotle 259
The Origins of Natural Philosophy 262
Aristotle's Philosophy 266
General principles
Individuation and desacralization
Aristotle's conception of time
Aristotle's Revolution 282
Traditional Elements in Aristotle's Though 286
The soul
The social self
IX The Relationship Between Philosophy and Myth 293
Summary Conclusions and Reflections 293
Platonic philosophy
Philosophy and existential meaning
Myth and Nonobjective Aspects of Thought 304
Myth, fact, and mystery
Subjectivity, objectivity, and pluralism
Myth, science, and explanation
Myth, Truth, and Certainty 317
Notes 329
Selected Bibliography 365
Index 371
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