But, being labelled a "Half-Jew", considering that his mother was Jewish , [1] the Catholic Blumenberg was barred from continuing his studies at any regular institution of learning in Germany. At the end of the war he was kept hidden by the family of his future wife Ursula. Blumenberg greatly despised the years which he claimed had been stolen from him by the Nazis. His friend Odo Marquard reports that after the war, Blumenberg slept only six times a week in order to make up for lost time. After Blumenberg continued his studies of philosophy, Germanistics and classical philology at the University of Hamburg , and graduated in with a dissertation on the origin of the ontology of the Middle Ages, at the University of Kiel. His mentor during these years was Ludwig Landgrebe.

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In the intervening years, he seems to have read many, many more books. Blumenberg started the book by placing humanity in an antagonism with its environment, and the problem caused when, as I mentioned in the first part, one can no longer just run away from the hostile things in the world. Myth then emerges as, he plainly states, a way of engaging with and shaping that which is beyond us.

Then there is a five-step process of the development of myth, beginnign with the undefined, superior, hostile Other pp. This is clearer in German, where the journey from das Andere abstract Other to der Andere personal Other One is a function of the grammar. This lays the ground for personification and engagement. A physiognomy of the Other One is generated, along with accompanying behavior patterns and character, setting the grounds for the laws of engagement with the Other One.

The concept of fidelity emerges, by which the Other One will reliably show favor to those that…the Other One favors, in accordance with the physiognomy and laws. Humans may enter into a covenant of some sort with the Other One: if you do what it wants which may well not be possible , the Other One will deliver on its promises. Except that Blumenberg is quite clear that the Christian cycle fails to solve the problems of the covenant-based myth: evil, suffering, etc.

Like all myths, he says, it moves the problems of its predecessor around, but this is hardly an undisputed achievement. So theodicy continues to exist and the supposed friendliness of the world is always in doubt; the myth is under constant threat of replacement.

So far this is indeed very Nietzschean, but Blumenberg is much more historically savvy, or at least he wants to present the problem as one that lives on in theory itself. Nietzsche was more content to wave away theory; Blumenberg is not an anarchist. And he has a small coup in the first chapter to show his insight. If we look back on the multiplicity of the historically accumulated theories of the origin of religion, they sort themselves out into two main types.

In other words, we have not come so far from myth as we think. And, Blumenberg hints, it applies just as easily to philosophy, which so often appeals to either a a holistic identity of divinity and man Spinoza, Hegel, transhumanists or b some kind of radical alterity by which the Other is apotheosized and related to mystically Kierkegaard, Heidegger, Levinas, Badiou.

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Joseph Mali — — Science in Context 7 1. Whereas metaphors originally were a means of illustrating the reality of an issue, giving form to understanding, they were later to tend towards a separate existence, in the sciences as elsewhere. Ellwood — — Continuum. Considerations on the Work of Hans Blumenberg. He studied aorkGerman studies and the classics —47, interrupted by World War II and is considered to be one of the most important German philosophers of the century.


Work on Myth



Hans Blumenberg




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