The emergence of the peoples: a question for the philosophy of mythology

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Date: 25 May 2017
Venue: Hamilton House, Bristol
Time: 18:00

The German idealist F.W.J. Schelling (1775-1854) developed a series of lectures on the Philosophy of Mythology that make up a core part of his later work, where the subject itself must be initially defined. Schelling asserts: “We are not the ones who place mythology, but mythology itself has placed us in the perspective from which, at the moment, we will consider it. The content of this conference is henceforth no longer the mythology as explained by us, but is the mythology as it explains itself.” (Schelling II/2, 139).

In the lectures that make up this posthumous work, Schelling proposes that the mythological experience and the symbols generated by it are self-interpretative. Authentic mythic symbols are not produced by a reflective intelligence, or otherwise erudition, to create an arbitrary “world” or “reality”, as a kind game or a child's play contained within itself by the set of rules that determines what is and is not part of the “game”.

The role of mythology would not be to work as a theory, albeit symbolic (distinguished from scientific reasoning) that explains a series of facts collected from the world that surrounds us. It exists to connect our consciousness to its own beginnings and its own becoming, as memory and remembrance, not of an individual's consciousness, but of our collective and shared place in the world.

Content of the event

A central question of the philosophy of mythology would then be: how do the peoples emerge as singular spiritual unities? We intend to examine Schelling's philosophy of mythology as a natural history of consciousness, through which not the individual, but the species emerge, alongside a clear example of this position, found in the cosmological accounts of indigenous peoples of the Amazon, for whom the question of the emergence of the self and the other, of our world and the other, are paramount.

How to attend

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Cost: Free
Contact: Miguel Prado Casanova

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