Myths that Rule Us: An Investigation into Western Technological Cultural Narratives

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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
Stream: Knowledge and Technology
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
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Prof. William Griffith

Professor of Management, Department of Organization and Management, Antioch University New England
Keene, NH, USA

Bill Griffith is a Professor of Management at Antioch University New England, teaching in the Department of Organization and Management. He is a Visiting Lecturer in Computer Science, Philosophy and Sociology at Boston College, where he was a professor of Computer Science. He has also has taught at Harvard University. Bill also has a coaching, management consulting, and psychology practice, based in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Bill has held high level technical and administrative positions in higher education and was founding principal of a consulting practice serving both the profit and non-profit sectors. Bill is a licensed Psychologist in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, and is listed in the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology. He is also a Consulting Editor for Philosophy and Social Criticism and an Associate Editor for the International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change in Organisations. Bill has a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Boston College, a Master’s from Antioch University in Counseling Psychology, and a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He was a Fellow in Psychology at Harvard Medical School, interning at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts, and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard Community Health Plan.

Ref: T08P0288