• Raptor
    3
    Hello, in a couple of years I have to write a thesis for my college degree in musical composition. I chose the theme of myth creatures, particulary folk creatures of my country Argentina. So in order to deep into the subject as a whole and compose music about it I need to acknowledge it from the perspective of philosophists. Why do they exist? what they mean, what they represent? etc
    What are your recommendations about works and authors that talk about myth/folk creatures?
  • Gnomon
    615
    What are your recommendations about works and authors that talk about myth/folk creatures?Raptor
    Modern philosophers usually make a distinction between Mythos (emotional meaning) and Logos (rational meaning). But ancient philosophers, such as Plato, seemed to use mythological stories simply as analogies and metaphors to illustrate how Nature and Culture work, without getting into technical details. I won't bother to give you a list of books --- you can Google : "Myth Philosophy", or "Mythical Creatures Philosophy" to find some references. But I will give you a link to Plato's usage of imaginative stories, to serve as background. :smile:

    Plato's Myths : https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/plato-myths/
  • I like sushi
    2.4k
    Carl Jung and Archetypes.

    Just curious, do they have something called ‘Capri’ in Argentina? Man with horses head.
  • Raptor
    3
    thanks! Ill dive in that article. I first thought about greek authors because I knew they trated myth in their work. Neveretheless I dont know if we can directly relate those ancient myth creatures with more contemporary folk creatures. For example a minotaur and a japanese kappa might have things in common as imaginary creatures but they may be expressions of different aspects of their culture? Or maybe they do are the same?
  • Raptor
    3
    Excellent! great lead, thanks! and no, I never heard or readed about a creature named like that in Argentina. Theres were-wolf, were-pumas, elves, giants and monsters alike and even evil light beings, but no horse headed creature that I know.
  • Gnomon
    615
    Neveretheless I dont know if we can directly relate those ancient myth creatures with more contemporary folk creatures.Raptor
    Joseph Campbell, in The Power of Myth, finds the commonalities in folk myths to be related to Archetypes in the human mind. For example, a bull may represent Power or Potential or Fertility in human relations. But there are so many symbolic creatures in folklore, you could spend a lifetime studying them. One contemporary folk creature is the typical "Gray" Alien, which to some people is like an Angel bringing messages of peace or warnings of dire consequences for ecological disaster. :cool:

    PS___Modern Chupacabra myths seemed to be derived from monster movies , but are probably also related to more general scary archetypes in the human psyche.
  • I like sushi
    2.4k
    Good call! The Power of Myth is super easy access and presents a decent gist.
  • I like sushi
    2.4k
    Modern mythos has moved to the silver screen from comics. Marvel is basically a modern mash up of long running representations of the human psyche.
  • Braindead
    37
    Late comment, but many asian mythological creatures are chimeras, in the sense that they are composed of many characteristics from several different animals. Some of the more famous ones are eastern dragons and kirins. Kirins in particular are interesting because they were said to have horns and hoofs among other traits, and then giraffes were found in Africa. The Japanese call giraffes kirins to this day.

    Other mythological creatures would be the many demons in Japan. One of the ones that come to mind is a humanoid creature with a long tongue said to haunt dirty bathrooms, since they would lick up the filth. I’m sure we can safely assume that the motive behind that particular story was to convince less hygienic people to clean up.
  • TheMadFool
    5.8k
    Despite many experiences to the contrary, directly in our own lives and indirectly through the eyes of others, the one, the greatest, mythical creature of all time, that we refuse to give up is the good person. There are no good people - "everyone is", as a good friend once said, "up to something."

    The usual conception of mythical creatures - dragons, monsters, elves, fairies - are quite harmless in that we know they're figments of our imagination. The belief that there are good people, on the other hand, is highly pernicious for, despite reality contradicting it innumerable times, we continue to hold onto that belief with, sometimes, fatal consequences.
  • Outlander
    138


    Some would argue good and bad are relative terms.

    If you have a gang of five ne'er-do-wells who are in the process of robbing you and four of them want to kill you, the one who just wants to beat you up a little is 'the good person'.

    Nature vs. nurture. There are selfless people out there who would literally suffer and die before they harm another. They are growing increasingly uncommon but not quite 'mythical'. Yet at least. :D

    Take devout monks or nuns. Or any what you'd call 'good person'. Its not that they don't feel or contemplate the same ideas and desires most do rather they are content in not acting on them. It's an open debate. Like I said nature vs. nurture, monkey see monkey do, see no evil speak no evil do no evil. The facts are simply not available.
  • TheMadFool
    5.8k
    To be honest, I hope, for our sake, there are good people out there if only to compensate for all the morally-challenged members of the human family. Also, statistically speaking, one should expect a few outliers but I don't expect them to amount to much given the size and the ferocity of the opposition.
  • Neuron420
    8
    Read Joseph Campbell's - "The Hero with a Thousand Faces" it is his seminal work on myths, legends, and hero's. It is a very interesting and informative book.
  • Braindead
    37
    The concept of good people reminds me of the criminal justice class I took. The idea behind the development of a criminal includes many factors including childhood environment, peer pressure, etc. If we take the inverse of that, we might end up with what you would consider “good” people. After all, habits are hard to break and being raised to be a good person might just result in that. Of course some exposure to the other side for comparison should be important. As for more mythological topics you could go into american indian legends, chinese mythology, japanese and pacific islander creation myths, middle eastern myths(which if I remember are related to greek and roman myths to some extent), and even inuik legends(people who live at one of the poles I think).
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