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The Meaning of Myth - The principle rebellion of reason against the tyranny of collective myths claiming to subordinate individual autonomy, embodied in the Sophists' struggle against the ancient mythical universe, resulted in reducing the concept of myth to stories about supernatural forces and its devaluation as an inferior form of intellectual development. However, when ancient myths were searched for models of social life their true meaning was discovered, and myth appeared as the horizon of every culture which historically changes its forms and contents, but retains the essential features of myth, because the exclusively rational foundation necessarily eludes it. Thus the insight that even in its historically changed modern forms, "myth" creates meaning for society and individuals, becomes a precondition for the "demythologization" of the modern environment, which is to make possible the establishment of a new balance between the inevitable antinomies stemming from and ending ...in the use of reason and the reshaping of myth.
Keywords:myth / collective / individual / culture / society / demythologization
Source:Filozofija i društvo, 1995, 169-191
- Beograd : Institut za filozofiju i društvenu teoriju