literalism

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, myth, abstractivism, scientism, literalism, and culture

Myth is not what we most readily-most facilely, and typically abstractly-take it to be: "exotic stories" from cultures unlike ours. Myth is a mode of culture itself, which precipitated those stories and gave them their power and form over the mode of mentality or personality to which it is a historical-psychological correlate. Myth is a way of being, a mode or dimension of subjectivity, an organic system of concretely grasped value-principles concentrating the meaning of human life into a pre-philosophical metaphor, a nuclear parable or potent allegory: we recognize it in primitive or premodern peoples, we see it-briefly-in the sparkling imagination and spiritual life of children, before our distinctive modern culture crushes their morale and introduces them to the prison of compulsively literalizing ways of seeing things, the prevailing prosaic, banal, fact-ridden existence to which literalized and abstractivized mentalities can of course see no alternative. Moderns know myth, as they know anything, only as what they have dissected it into, what they have "scienced" or intellectualized.

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

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