Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy

Volume 13, Issue 1, Fall 2008

Chiara Bottici
Pages 1-24

Mythos and Logos
A Genealogical Approach

The paper aims to put forward a critique of the common view of the birth of philosophy as the exit from myth. To this end, it proposes a genealogy of myth which starts from the observation that the two terms were originally used as synonymous. By analyzing the ways in which the two terms relate to each other in the thinking of Presocratics, Plato and Aristotle, the paper argues that up to the fourth century BC no opposition between mythos and logos was stated and that not even in Aristotle is there an identification of myth with false discourse. This, in the end, is the result of the fact that their views of truth and reality enabled a plurality of programmes of truth to coexist next to one another.