Explain what is meant by Mythos and Logos, and how these concepts contributed to the beginning of philosophy - Mythology Essay Example

Explain what is meant by Mythos and Logos, and how these concepts contributed to the beginning of philosophy

We must first define what these terms are in order to be able to connect them to how they were able to contribute to the beginning of philosophy - Explain what is meant by Mythos and Logos, and how these concepts contributed to the beginning of philosophy introduction. Myth is regarded as primary; it is concerned with what is thought to be timeless and constant in our existence. Myth looks back to the origins of life, to the foundations of culture, and to the deepest levels of the human mind. Myth is not concerned with practical matters, but with meaning. Unless we find some significance in this world, we mortal men and women fall very easily into despair. The mythos of a society provides people with a context that makes sense of their day-to-day lives; it directs their attention to the eternal and the universal. It is also rooted in what we would call the unconscious mind. Logos, on the other hand, is equally important. Logos is the rational, pragmatic, and scientific thought that enables men and women to function well in the world. We may have lost the sense of mythos in the West today, but we are very familiar with logos, which is the basis of our society. Unlike myth, logos must relate exactly to facts and correspond to external realities if it is to be effective. It must work efficiently in the mundane world.

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We use this logical, discursive reasoning when we have to make things happen, get something done, or persuade other people to adopt a particular course of action. Logos is practical. Unlike myth, which looks back to the beginnings and to the foundations, logos forges ahead and tries to find something new: to elaborate on old insights, achieve a greater control over our environment, discover something fresh, and invent something novel.

It may seem that both contradict each other, yet when we bring together two very different perspectives it shows us that there is a cohesive fusion when we make use of them to define philosophy.

Philosophy makes use of both strategies. Both Logos and Mythos. The most famous philosophers seek to find meaning in things and seek to find understanding in situations around us. Whereas, there is another group of philosophers who use logic to define circumstance in the world around us.

Mythos connects us, makes us feel alive, and  logos is also about connections, and about how the disinterested, ego-less connection of logos might itself be good, indeed a necessary basis for a deepening of the capacity for mythic connection in a way that, because it is not so caught up in the small and short-lived demands of self or tribe, will not turn out to be soul- or world-destroying. Thus, to understand that long hot days mean summer because of the angle of the earth’s rotation as it circles the sun, is not to deny what “summer means long hot days” means for the earth’s creatures, up to and including those pleasant evening hours spent telling stories on the front porch, but rather to recognize how it is we can all be in this together, to see something about Summer and the connection between the great tipped earth and the small animal waiting in the shade for dusk. Logos and mythos, properly understood, require each other: there can be no system without stuff to be systematic.

 

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