Myths that Rule Us: An Investigation into Western Technological Cultural Narratives
Scientific rationality does not present truth, while myth presents fiction. Myth is also truth in the sense of a narrative that expresses the deep values of a culture. In the broad space called Western Civilization, there is such a story -- a story with many themes having their origins and transformations along the way from the ancient Greeks to the present. A few of the most important themes are relevant to what is our broadly Western (perhaps more American) fascination with, addiction to, and ambivalence about technology. As we begin the 21st century, in our highly technological Western culture, we may see ourselves as being liberated form the “myths” of earlier generations. On the contrary, this presentation will argue that it is more a case of living out and recreating new valences around the nucleus of our core myths. This requires venturing into narrative epistemology – the use of storytelling, a form of discourse, which allows us to organize, account for, legitimate, and construct meaning for our lives. In this way, we can understand the stories that influence us, guide us, tell us who we are, and who we can become.
Keywords: Myth, Narrative, Epistemology, Technological Rationality, Ancient Greece
Prof. William Griffith
Professor of Management, Department of Organization and Management, Antioch University New England