Lecture 12: Taylor
• Look up myth of Sisyphus.
• Supposedly he managed to escape and was then cast to his punishment of
pushing the rock.
• However, this is a myth.
• The problem with myths is that a lot of people believe them; this is because
of the symbolism of the myth.
• (it is better for a child to believe in Santa, because he will behave better to
get gifts on Christmas)
• Myths give people, values to live by, did Adam and Eve exist? (check up
mitochondrial eve and St Augustine)
• Ancient myths were invented to get across universal human truth.
Interpretations of Sisyphus:
• Another reason for the Sisyphus myth is to symbolise how no one is able to
• Another thing to take into account is that the Greek mythology of the
underworld (Hades) was a place of misery, depression and pain.
• Priests were in control and religion was a big influence in society. Society was
taught that you would be cast to Hades if you disobeyed the Gods. The myths
function was to keep the power structure with the priests.
• Sociologically has mythology as big aspect of it as it was an aid in
manipulating the masses.
• Taylor believes the myth is used as a paradigm, a paradigm of a meaningless
life. Sisyphus work is pointless as there is no fruit of labour, no
• He believes that Sisyphus doesn’t believe that he doesn’t think he is being
punished and is happy, subjectively he is satisfied. However objectively
Sisyphus has a meaningless life, no fruit of labour etc....
• There is no rational reason for why Sisyphus would be happy, but
subjectively he may feel happy • Taylor talks about biologically without humans, and how organisms reproduce
over and over again just like Sisyphus keeps pushing this rock up and up and
up. However there is no actually point to it at all.
• Taylor believes there is one