Myth

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A Myth is a Narrative that are used by a people to communicate value judgements.



References

2014

  • (Wikipedia, 2014) ⇒ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mythology Retrieved:2014-12-21.
    • Mythology can refer either to the collected myths of a group of people, their body of stories which they tell to explain nature, history, and customs [1] or to the study of such myths.[2] Our culture has debased the function of myth. "The word myth has been debased and cheapened in modern usage; it’s often used to refer to something false, a lie. But this use misses the deepest function of myth, which is to lend narrative order to apparently disconnected bits of information, the way constellations group impossibly distant stars into tight, easily recognizable patterns that are simultaneously imaginary and real. Psychologists David Feinstein and Stanley Krippner explain, “Mythology is the loom on which [we] weave the raw materials of daily experience into a coherent story.” [3]

      As a collection of such stories, mythology is an important feature of every culture. Various origins for myths have been proposed, ranging from personification of natural phenomena to truthful or hyperbolic accounts of historical events, to explanations of existing ritual. Although the term is complicated by its implicit condescension, mythologizing is not just an ancient or primitive practice, as shown by contemporary mythopoeia such as urban legends and the expansive fictional mythoi created by fantasy novels and Japanese manga. A culture's collective mythology helps convey belonging, shared and religious experience, behavioral models, and moral and practical lessons.

      As the study of myth, mythology dates back to antiquity. Rationalists in ancient Greece and China devised allegorical interpretations of their traditional stories. Rival classifications of the Greek myths by Euhemerus, Plato's Phaedrus, and Sallustius were developed by the Neoplatonists and revived by Renaissance mythographers. Nineteenth-century comparative mythology reinterpreted myth as a primitive and failed counterpart of science (E. B. Tylor), a "disease of language" (Max Müller), or a misinterpretation of magical ritual (James Frazer).

      Some (recent) approaches have rejected a conflict between the value of myth and rational thought, often viewing myths, rather than being merely inaccurate historical accounts, as expressions for understanding general psychological, cultural or societal truths.

  1. Oxford English Dictionary, "myth, n. Oxford University Press (Oxford), 2003.
  2. Kirk, p. 8; "myth", Encyclopædia Britannica
  3. Ryan, Christopher and Cacilda Jetha, (2011) "Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality" Harper Perennial; Reprint edition (July 5, 2011)