New PDF release: A Philosophy of Political Myth

By Chiara Bottici

ISBN-10: 0521876559

ISBN-13: 9780521876551

During this ebook, Chiara Bottici argues for a philosophical realizing of political fantasy. Bottici exhibits that delusion is a approach, one among non-stop paintings on a uncomplicated narrative trend that responds to a necessity for importance. humans want which means that allows you to grasp the realm they stay in, yet in addition they desire value that allows you to dwell in a global that's much less detached to them. this is often fairly precise within the realm of politics. Political myths are narratives in which we orient ourselves, and act and suppose approximately our political international. Bottici exhibits that during order to come back to phrases with modern phenomena, comparable to the conflict among civilizations, we'd like a Copernican revolution in political philosophy. If we wish to retailer cause, we have to examine it from the perspective of fable.

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To take Vernant’s example, it is very unlikely that human beings were all making recourse to Hephaestus in order to explain the phenomenon of “the hot”. And, for this reason, we should question the very idea of a possible “birth” of philosophy – unless we mean by philosophy something different from an attempt to provide a rational explanation of the world. Third, even in the case of the “philosophers” presented by Aristotle, there are good reasons for questioning his reconstruction. For instance, in the case of Thales’ thinking, there is a fragment that suggests an alternative interpretation to the traditional one.

Plato’s constant recourse to myth is perhaps the most conspicuous scandal from the point of new of the narrative of the “birth of philosophy” as the exit from myth. Different strategies have, however, been employed in order to reconcile them: Platonic myths have been read both as the containers for a kind of truth that is superior to that entailed by the logos, and as a primitive way of expressing a 12 On this point, see Reale 1991: 74, 124. P1: SBT 0521876559c01 CUNY769/Bottici Mythos and Logos 0 521 87655 9 May 12, 2007 22:16 31 truth that was to be superseded by the logos itself.

At the same time, mythos began to express the additional meaning of “tale”. According to Chantraine, this passage is fully attested in the works of the tragedians and of Plato: it is at this point that the term mythos tends to specialise in the sense of “narrative”, “subject of a tragedy” (Chantraine 1984: 718; trans. mine). Thus, a genealogy of myth starts with mythos meaning simply “word, speech”, as synonymous with logos, and ends with the common view of mythos and logos as opposites, as false and true discourse respectively.

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A Philosophy of Political Myth by Chiara Bottici


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