In this book, originally published in 2007, Chiara Bottici argues for a philosophical understanding of political myth. Bottici demonstrates that myth is a process, one of continuous work on a basic narrative pattern that responds to a need for significance. Human beings need meaning in order to master the world they live in, but they also need significance in order to live in a world that is less indifferent to them. This is particularly true in the realm of politics. Political myths are narratives through which we orient ourselves, and act and feel about our political world. Bottici shows that in order to come to terms with contemporary phenomena, such as the clash between civilizations, we need a Copernican revolution in political philosophy. If we want to save reason, we need to look at it from the standpoint of myth.
Chiara Bottici is a researcher in political philosophy at the University of Florence. The author of Uomini e Stati, Percorsi di un'analogia, she has contributed to the Journal of Political Philosophy, the European Journal of Social Theory and the Quaderni Forum.
Introduction; Part I. A Genealogy of Myth: 1. Mythos and logos; 2. The biblos and the dialectic of the sacred logos; 3. Scientific rationality and the dialectic of the enlightenment; Part II. The Need for Myth: 4. Myth and meaning; 5. Approaching myth; 6. Naming the unknown, grounding significance; Part III. Political Myth: 7. Myth and the critique of political reason; 8. Classical theories of political myth; 9. Political myth, ideology, and utopia; Part IV. Myth and Political Identity: 10. Myth, historical narratives and the social imaginary; 11. Myth and identity; 12. Political myths today: the extraordinary and the banal.
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