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The American Journal of Semiotics

Volume 24, Issue 1/3, 2008

Biosemiotics

Yagmur Denizhan
Pages 145-158

Roots of the Contemporary Mental Model in Ancient Mythology

This paper asserts that the dominant mental models of a social system are shaped by the conditions at the time when the society first gains its identity and unity, and that the basic traits of these models are maintained to a great extent throughout that society’s subsequent social evolution. Based on this assumption, some basic traits of the mental models’ characteristics of today’s civilisations are expected to have their origins in the mental models of early human agricultural societies and city-states. Since Mesopotamian myths constitute some of the earliest available records originating from that ancient period, several of these myths are analysed here to examine the roots of some fundamental epistemological assumptions of our contemporary society.

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