Mythic- Symbolic Language & Philosophical Anthropology by David M. Rasmussen


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Martinus Nijhoff, 1971. First edition. 157 pages. 

 A Constructive Interpretation of the Thought of Paul Ricœur.

'This book will attempt to achieve a constructive and positive correlation between mythic-symbolic language and philosophical anthropology. It is intended as a reflection on the philosophical accomplishment of Paul Ricoeur. The term mythic-symbolic language in this context means the language of the multivalent symbol given in the myth with its psychological and poetic counterparts. The term symbol is not conceived as an abstract sign as it is used in symbolic logic, but rather as a concrete phenomenon - religious, psychological, and poetic. The task inherent in this correlation is monumental when one considers the dual dilemma of problematic and possibility which is at its heart. The problematic arises out of the apparent difficulty presented by the so-called challenge of modernity which seems to require the elimination of mythic-symbolic language as an intelligible mode of communication.
Mythic-symbolic language is sometimes eliminated because in a world moulded by abstract conceptualizations conceptualizations of science, such a language is thought to be unintelligible. The claim is that its "primitive" explanations have been transcended by our modernity. Others believe that the problem of mythic-symbolic language is the problem of the myth. If the mythic forms of language could be eliminated, the truth of such language could be preserved through its translation into an intelligible mode of discourse. The problematic is heightened further by the relation of considerations of language to philosophical anthropology.'