Traces of the Past PhD James Kent (Final).pdf (1.87 MB)
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Traces of the Past: History and Myth in Vico, Benjamin and Blumenberg

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posted on 04.11.2019, 23:44 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.


Principal supervisor

Alison Ross

Additional supervisor 1

Andrew Benjamin

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre

School of Philosophical, Historical & International Studies


Doctor of Philosophy

Degree Type


Campus location


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