Historical-critical Introduction to the Philosophy of Mythology

SUNY Press
Free sample

Translated here into English for the first time, F. W. J. Schelling’s 1842 lectures on the Philosophy of Mythology are an early example of interdisciplinary thinking. In seeking to show the development of the concept of the divine Godhead in and through various mythological systems (particularly of ancient Greece, Egypt, and the Near East), Schelling develops the idea that many philosophical concepts are born of religious-mythological notions. In so doing, he brings together the essential relatedness of the development of philosophical systems, human language, history, ancient art forms, and religious thought. Along the way, he engages in analyses of modern philosophical views about the origins of philosophy’s conceptual abstractions, as well as literary and philological analyses of ancient literature and poetry.
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About the author

Mason Richey teaches philosophy and is a professional translator.

Markus Zisselsberger is Assistant Professor of Modern Languages and Literatures at the University of Miami and is the coeditor (with Gisela Brinker-Gabler) of “If We Had the Word.”: Ingeborg Bachmann. Views and Reviews.

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Additional Information

Publisher
SUNY Press
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Published on
Feb 1, 2012
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Pages
264
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ISBN
9780791479964
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Language
English
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Genres
Philosophy / Aesthetics
Philosophy / History & Surveys / General
Philosophy / Religious
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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The emergence of modern sciences in the seventeenth century profoundly renewed our understanding of nature. For the last three centuries new ideas of nature have been continually developed by theology, politics, economics, and science, especially the sciences of the material world.

The situation is even more unstable today, now that we have entered an ecological mutation of unprecedented scale. Some call it the Anthropocene, but it is best described as a new climatic regime. And a new regime it certainly is, since the many unexpected connections between human activity and the natural world oblige every one of us to reopen the earlier notions of nature and redistribute what had been packed inside.

So the question now arises: what will replace the old ways of looking at nature?

This book explores a potential candidate proposed by James Lovelock when he chose the name 'Gaia' for the fragile, complex system through which living phenomena modify the Earth. The fact that he was immediately misunderstood proves simply that his readers have tried to fit this new notion into an older frame, transforming Gaia into a single organism, a kind of giant thermostat, some sort of New Age goddess, or even divine Providence.

In this series of lectures on 'natural religion,' Bruno Latour argues that the complex and ambiguous figure of Gaia offers, on the contrary, an ideal way to disentangle the ethical, political, theological, and scientific aspects of the now obsolete notion of nature. He lays the groundwork for a future collaboration among scientists, theologians, activists, and artists as they, and we, begin to adjust to the new climatic regime.
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