Plato and the Mythic Tradition in Political Thought
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CitationKeum, Tae-Yeoun. 2017. Plato and the Mythic Tradition in Political Thought. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
AbstractPlato and the Mythic Tradition in Political Thought examines a tradition of political thinkers who sought to understand the place of myth in politics, and who in particular turned to Plato for guidance in their efforts. At different junctures in the history of the reception of Plato, the myths that Plato wrote inspired both imitation as well as theoretical reflection on the relationship between myth, philosophy, and politics. As such, it is possible to speak of a coherent, specifically Platonic tradition of writing and thinking about myth. If Plato has long been celebrated for making reasoned argument the foundation of philosophy, this dissertation recovers a neglected tradition in the reception of Plato, in a discipline dominated by a different aspect of both Plato and his legacy.
In turn, a revised understanding of Plato’s legacy on these terms opens up a broader theoretical discourse concerning the role of myth in political thought. Myth is often construed as the opposite of reason, and is thought to be alternately irrelevant to, or undesirable in, a politics committed to ideals of rational progress. Plato and the Mythic Tradition challenges this prevailing bias. It shows how some of the most pivotal figures in the history of political thought have perennially raised the question of whether there might be a more nuanced, constructive role for myth to play in political theory.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:41142046
- FAS Theses and Dissertations 
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