Lecture 1 - Introduction - Course Requirements - Teaching Goals
Thursday, Jan. 10/2013
The main difference between us and our closest cousin the chimp is the tradition of story telling.
We will cover how myths arise, the functions they perform for individuals or the societies in
which they are recited and what they accomplish. Why did we evolve to make (and enjoy)
Considered a producer of myth and his epics are presentations of myth (the Iliad and the
Odyssey). They also reflect on the nature of storytelling and myth-making. This is evidenced by
the technique of telling stories within stories (Odysseus toAlkinoos).
The Birth of Philosophy
In the late 7th and 6th century BC and on into Plato Greek philosophers find themselves in
conflict with mythological tradition. The goals and methods of the early Greek philosophers,
both the Pre-Socratics and Socrates/Plato, were determined by their antagonism toward and
interaction with the mythological tradition. Greek myth is central to identity. They wanted to
determine what was the truth and what was reality and how the truth compares or contrasts with
myth. Often we find at