Relationship between logos and mythos

Mythos & Logos: Two Ways of Explaining the World | Journey to the Sea

relationship between logos and mythos

“Mythos and logos go together, but their relationship is neither dialectic nor mythic; The reunion between mythos and logos is one that must also take place. In particular, they evolved around two ways of thinking, which scholars have called 'mythos' and 'logos'. Myth was not concerned with practical. Logos and muthos in Plato () The natural assumption is that logos means Xenophanes' central thesis is the difference between (on the one side) the.

relationship between logos and mythos

We just believe in them so thoroughly they seem real. So I go on. It would sound nutty to think that until the seventeenth century there was no gravity.

“Mythos and Logos in Plato” | Sophie grace and Timothy Chappell -

Has it always existed? It seems to me that law of gravity has passed every test of nonexistence there is. Or a single scientific attribute of existence it did have. The law of gravity and gravity itself did not exist before Isaac Newton.

No other conclusion makes sense. Every educationist emphasizes it. No educationist explains it.

So as not to draw attention to myself. They were always there, even when they applied to nothing. Gradually the world came into being and then they applied to it. My own discussion of the Aesopic fable fits nicely within this discipline because it is an attempt to explain the fable in a objective, historical fashion.

But the reverse also occurs: Fantasy authors often incorporate scientific discoveries and theories into their stories: Many science-fiction authors have scientific backgrounds and use narratives to work out for themselves and to convey to others the mythical significance of findings in their various fields. Many of the great advances in civilization have been the product of these two ways of thinking working together.

Artists, poets, musicians, and other mythical thinkers rely on the tools and techniques of logos for their own works of mythos: The pursuits of logos are in turn influenced by mythos: Products of logos enable us to communicate with the people who matter most to us even when they are thousands of miles awaybut mythos provides the context for us to know which people matter and what we should say to them when we do communicate.

relationship between logos and mythos

These exchanges, interactions, and dependencies demonstrate to me that mythos and logos are best seen as complementary to each other.

Though we have inherited great traditions in both mythical thinking and logical thinking, logical thinking has risen to such prominence that many no longer realize any another approach exists.

The decline of mythical thinking throughout much of the industrialized world has resulted in the unfortunate loss of a sense of transcendence and of the value of human life. Some people argue that this has been responsible for much of the devastation in the last one hundred years. I explore this connection in an article discussing Shikastaa science-fiction novel by Doris Lessing.

One of my main goals with this site is the opportunity to explore for myself this integration of mythos and logos. I will continue to publish articles that explore myths and mythical thinking: But I would also love to hear from you: What has led you to appreciate mythos in a logos-heavy culture? In what ways have you embraced it and what value have you found in it? How do you think we should best integrate mythical and logical thinking?

For example, there is a well-known passage in Plato Protagoras c3 in which Protagoras himself, while clearly recognising that distinction, also implies the surprisingly modern idea that muthos can be an allegorical or figurative way of saying the very same thing as can also be said in logos.

relationship between logos and mythos

Plato presents the same idea via an Egyptian priest at Timaeus 22c9: Such qualms are well-expressed in the famous words with which Protagoras began his book On the gods: Concerning gods, I have no way of knowing either that they are or that they are not, nor what they are like in their form; for there are many things preventing knowledge, both obscurity and the brevity of human life.

DK80, B4 Like Protagoras, Socrates steadfastly refused to inquire into any questions for which he thought we lacked a credible method of inquiry. And Socrates clearly influenced Plato in this. Concerning the other divinities, to speak and know their coming-to-be is more than we have powers for.

So we should put our faith in those who spoke of it in the olden days, since they were themselves offspring of the gods — as they claimed, and no doubt they knew all about their own family background. Obviously there can be no doubting the children of the gods, even those whose accounts lack the evidence of proof or even likelihood. My friend, I was cast down most violently from this wonderful hope.

For as I go on with my reading I find out that the man makes no real use of nous at all, and finds no genuine causes for the ordering of things. From our standpoint in history, it is of course rather striking that what Socrates thought hopelessly speculative was science, and what he thought rigorously logical was ethics. Many people today would see things exactly the other way round. A second and securer defence is to note that it is only a certain sort of science that Socrates condemns as lacking rigour — the speculative cosmology of his time he seems, so far as we can tell, to have been a great admirer of the other major kind of science that he knew about, namely mathematics ; and it is only a certain sort of ethics that he thinks has this rigour — namely his own negative project of exposing fallacies, confusions and prejudices.

What kind of logical rigour would satisfy him? A fully worked-out teleological account of the universe, one that explains the way each and every thing is by explaining with full and irresistible cogency how it is best for each and every thing to be just that way and no other: The trouble is that there is a tension between these two partial answers.

This is the tension between the negative and positive roles that Socrates sees for logos. It is a point familiar to every reader of the Socratic dialogues that their results are usually destructive.

In those dialogues Socrates offers no account of his own: I am sterile in wisdom, and the reproach that many have made of me — that I ask other people questions, but have nothing to bring to light about anything myself, because I have hold of nothing wise — that reproach is true.

Aristotle, On Sophistical Refutations b7 In its negative role, Socratic reasoning is not a sticky mortar, holding constructions together; it is a corrosive acid, dissolving them into their component pieces. So much so that Plato comes to doubt that Socratic reasoning could have a positive role to play as well. It is rather that no possible cosmology or political philosophy could conceivably pass that test.

There simply is no way to give an account of the ordering of the cosmos, or of the best ordering of the polis city statewhich satisfies the standards of logical rigour that Socrates is determined to apply. By those standards, Socrates is entirely justified in doing what he does: For there is nothing more that the standards of logos itself can allow.

This tension between the negative and positive functions of Socratic logos could have been resolved two ways. Or Plato could have resolved the tension the other way, in favour of a positive conception of logos: Plato does neither of these things.

Rather, instead of trying to resolve the tension between the positive and negative conceptions of logos, between theory-construction and elenchus, Plato tries to find a way of living with that tension. In this Plato follows Parmenides. For if the first part of her discourse is correct, the second part of it cannot even be thinkable.

For that world is itself no more than a deceit. Does that mean that true philosophy can have nothing to say about the natural world, and must restrict itself to the severe logic of transcendent reality?

Parmenides apparently thought not. After all, his philosophy does have things to say about the natural world — his poem does have a second part as well as a first. The natural world of particular events, movement, change and process may be a tissue of illusion; but there again it is only within this natural world that Parmenides can claim to experience the particular event of his chariot journey to the house of the goddess, to undergo the process of being taught by her so as to change from ignorance to understanding.