Traces of the Past: History and Myth in Vico, Benjamin and Blumenberg

2019-11-04T23:44:33Z (GMT) by JAMES FRANCIS KENT
This thesis argues that the dichotomy between ‘myth’ and ‘reason’ is untenable because myth is a primary inculcation of a rational life. This conclusion is based on the premise that myths are stories that connect individuals and communities to their pasts (both real and imagined). I offer a critique of Giambattista Vico's, Walter Benjamin's, and Hans Blumenberg's philosophical approaches to myth. All three argue that mythic stories are a locus where individuals and groups can reflect, and ‘work on’, their pasts. Myth, therefore, plays a vital role in how human beings come to orientate, and exercise, their historical, and thus rational, agency.