Discussion:
What is myth?
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Dingbat
2017-12-15 03:44:53 UTC
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What is myth?
Any corrections to my response to the question, below, are welcome.


"I have read the Hellenic myths, Germanic myths and the Judeo-Christian myths"
- Marc James

Alan Wostenberg asked:
How are you using the term /myth/?
1) simply a sacred story and saying nothing about or truth or falsity?
2) something that didn't really happen?
Or some other literary or technical meaning?

I comment:

FWIW, mythos could mean #1; it could also mean a hagiography.
Myth, in some contexts, could mean mythos.

Fable is the term used by some writers to mean #2.
Myth, in some contexts, could mean fable.

The meaning of myth, IMHO, has to be divined from the author's apparent intent.

Bill O'Reilly took umbrage at Richard Dawkins saying "Christian myths";
it seemed that Bill objects to using the word at all to refer to
traditional Christian stories, even with meaning #1.
Richard Heathfield
2017-12-15 08:41:06 UTC
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Post by Dingbat
What is myth?
It'th a female moth.

Unleth it'th married, in which cathe it'th mythith.
--
Richard Heathfield
Email: rjh at cpax dot org dot uk
"Usenet is a strange place" - dmr 29 July 1999
Sig line 4 vacant - apply within
Mack A. Damia
2017-12-15 10:36:37 UTC
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On Thu, 14 Dec 2017 19:44:53 -0800 (PST), Dingbat
Post by Dingbat
What is myth?
Any corrections to my response to the question, below, are welcome.
"I have read the Hellenic myths, Germanic myths and the Judeo-Christian myths"
- Marc James
How are you using the term /myth/?
1) simply a sacred story and saying nothing about or truth or falsity?
2) something that didn't really happen?
Or some other literary or technical meaning?
FWIW, mythos could mean #1; it could also mean a hagiography.
Myth, in some contexts, could mean mythos.
Fable is the term used by some writers to mean #2.
Myth, in some contexts, could mean fable.
The meaning of myth, IMHO, has to be divined from the author's apparent intent.
Bill O'Reilly took umbrage at Richard Dawkins saying "Christian myths";
it seemed that Bill objects to using the word at all to refer to
traditional Christian stories, even with meaning #1.
A nation has a singular ideology and an elaborate framework of myths.

Myths represent nationally shared framework of political consciousness
influenced by the values and beliefs of the larger society.

Myths illuminate society's awareness of itself and its history.

Myths sustain government's legitimacy; myths secure allegiance to
government authority.
occam
2017-12-15 12:01:52 UTC
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Post by Dingbat
What is myth?
Look what's written on the side of the Brexit bus. /That's a myth./
Richard Heathfield
2017-12-15 12:21:13 UTC
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Post by occam
Post by Dingbat
What is myth?
Look what's written on the side of the Brexit bus. /That's a myth./
I know I'm running the risk of jumping, perhaps wrongly, to a
conclusion, but would it be fair to say that you're not too keen on the
UK leaving the EU?

Fair enough. Everyone's entitled to their opinion.

Some of us are quite looking forward to it.
--
Richard Heathfield
Email: rjh at cpax dot org dot uk
"Usenet is a strange place" - dmr 29 July 1999
FREEDOM!
occam
2017-12-15 12:31:26 UTC
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Post by Richard Heathfield
Post by occam
Post by Dingbat
What is myth?
Look what's written on the side of the Brexit bus. /That's a myth./
I know I'm running the risk of jumping, perhaps wrongly, to a
conclusion, but would it be fair to say that you're not too keen on the
UK leaving the EU?
So, you're not as dumb as some people here think.
Post by Richard Heathfield
Some of us are quite looking forward to it.
Yes, in the same way my children were always looking forward to the
fairy tales I'd read them before bedtime. Enjoy.
Richard Heathfield
2017-12-15 12:40:48 UTC
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Post by occam
Post by Richard Heathfield
Post by occam
Post by Dingbat
What is myth?
Look what's written on the side of the Brexit bus. /That's a myth./
I know I'm running the risk of jumping, perhaps wrongly, to a
conclusion, but would it be fair to say that you're not too keen on the
UK leaving the EU?
So, you're not as dumb as some people here think.
Neither are you, as I'm sure you'll be just as pleased to hear from me
as I was to hear it from you.
Post by occam
Post by Richard Heathfield
Some of us are quite looking forward to it.
Yes, in the same way my children were always looking forward to the
fairy tales I'd read them before bedtime. Enjoy.
The fairy tale, if fairy tale there be, is the myth that the EU is a
good organisation of which to be a member. Fortunately, the *majority*
of UK voters who expressed an opinion at the recent referendum
recognised that myth for what it is and decided that they wanted no
further part of it. And I therefore conclude that, like me, the majority
of UK voters who expressed an opinion are not as dumb as some people
here think.
--
Richard Heathfield
Email: rjh at cpax dot org dot uk
"Usenet is a strange place" - dmr 29 July 1999
Sig line 4 vacant - apply within
Richard Yates
2017-12-15 13:55:16 UTC
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On Fri, 15 Dec 2017 12:40:48 +0000, Richard Heathfield
Post by Richard Heathfield
Post by occam
Post by Richard Heathfield
Post by occam
Post by Dingbat
What is myth?
Look what's written on the side of the Brexit bus. /That's a myth./
I know I'm running the risk of jumping, perhaps wrongly, to a
conclusion, but would it be fair to say that you're not too keen on the
UK leaving the EU?
So, you're not as dumb as some people here think.
Neither are you, as I'm sure you'll be just as pleased to hear from me
as I was to hear it from you.
Post by occam
Post by Richard Heathfield
Some of us are quite looking forward to it.
Yes, in the same way my children were always looking forward to the
fairy tales I'd read them before bedtime. Enjoy.
The fairy tale, if fairy tale there be, is the myth that the EU is a
good organisation of which to be a member. Fortunately, the *majority*
of UK voters who expressed an opinion at the recent referendum
recognised that myth for what it is and decided that they wanted no
further part of it. And I therefore conclude that, like me, the majority
of UK voters who expressed an opinion are not as dumb as some people
here think.
I have no opinion at all about Brexit, but your fallacy here is clear:
that people who agreed with you must have made a thoughtful and
reasoned decision. The reality is that the majority of votes on nearly
any such complicated question are based on fragmentary information,
propaganda, and arguments from authority.
Richard Heathfield
2017-12-15 14:06:43 UTC
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Post by Richard Yates
On Fri, 15 Dec 2017 12:40:48 +0000, Richard Heathfield
<snip>
Post by Richard Yates
Post by Richard Heathfield
Post by occam
Post by Richard Heathfield
Some of us are quite looking forward to it.
Yes, in the same way my children were always looking forward to the
fairy tales I'd read them before bedtime. Enjoy.
The fairy tale, if fairy tale there be, is the myth that the EU is a
good organisation of which to be a member. Fortunately, the *majority*
of UK voters who expressed an opinion at the recent referendum
recognised that myth for what it is and decided that they wanted no
further part of it. And I therefore conclude that, like me, the majority
of UK voters who expressed an opinion are not as dumb as some people
here think.
Yes, I know, but we get lots of logical fallacies in here, and nobody
bats an eyelid most of the time.
Post by Richard Yates
that people who agreed with you must have made a thoughtful and
reasoned decision. The reality is that the majority of votes on nearly
any such complicated question are based on fragmentary information,
propaganda, and arguments from authority.
Indeed - and that, of course, applies to those who voted to stay just as
much as it applies to those who voted to leave.
--
Richard Heathfield
Email: rjh at cpax dot org dot uk
"Usenet is a strange place" - dmr 29 July 1999
Sig line 4 vacant - apply within
Katy Jennison
2017-12-15 14:59:34 UTC
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Post by Richard Heathfield
Post by Richard Yates
On Fri, 15 Dec 2017 12:40:48 +0000, Richard Heathfield
<snip>
Post by Richard Yates
Post by Richard Heathfield
Post by occam
Post by Richard Heathfield
Some of us are quite looking forward to it.
Yes, in the same way my children were always looking forward to the
fairy tales I'd read them before bedtime. Enjoy.
The fairy tale, if fairy tale there be, is the myth that the EU is a
good organisation of which to be a member. Fortunately, the *majority*
of UK voters who expressed an opinion at the recent referendum
recognised that myth for what it is and decided that they wanted no
further part of it. And I therefore conclude that, like me, the majority
of UK voters who expressed an opinion are not as dumb as some people
here think.
Yes, I know, but we get lots of logical fallacies in here, and nobody
bats an eyelid most of the time.
Post by Richard Yates
that people who agreed with you must have made a thoughtful and
reasoned decision. The reality is that the majority of votes on nearly
any such complicated question are based on fragmentary information,
propaganda, and arguments from authority.
Indeed - and that, of course, applies to those who voted to stay just as
much as it applies to those who voted to leave.
And that, of course, is in a nutshell precisely the argument for a
second referendum (pace occam) once there's a detailed draft agreement
to vote on.
--
Katy Jennison
Janet
2017-12-15 15:52:18 UTC
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In article <p10o0o$56o$***@news.albasani.net>, ***@spamtrap.kjennison.com
says...
Post by Katy Jennison
Post by Richard Heathfield
Post by Richard Yates
On Fri, 15 Dec 2017 12:40:48 +0000, Richard Heathfield
<snip>
Post by Richard Yates
Post by Richard Heathfield
Post by occam
Post by Richard Heathfield
Some of us are quite looking forward to it.
Yes, in the same way my children were always looking forward to the
fairy tales I'd read them before bedtime. Enjoy.
The fairy tale, if fairy tale there be, is the myth that the EU is a
good organisation of which to be a member. Fortunately, the *majority*
of UK voters who expressed an opinion at the recent referendum
recognised that myth for what it is and decided that they wanted no
further part of it. And I therefore conclude that, like me, the majority
of UK voters who expressed an opinion are not as dumb as some people
here think.
Yes, I know, but we get lots of logical fallacies in here, and nobody
bats an eyelid most of the time.
Post by Richard Yates
that people who agreed with you must have made a thoughtful and
reasoned decision. The reality is that the majority of votes on nearly
any such complicated question are based on fragmentary information,
propaganda, and arguments from authority.
Indeed - and that, of course, applies to those who voted to stay just as
much as it applies to those who voted to leave.
And that, of course, is in a nutshell precisely the argument for a
second referendum (pace occam) once there's a detailed draft agreement
to vote on.
I would be amazed if by the time we leave there is any "detailed
draft agreement" in place to vote on in a referendum. Post-Brexit it
will take at least two years discussion with EU to sort out trade,
economic and legal frameworks, and much longer to fill in the details.

Janet
Paul Wolff
2017-12-15 18:07:28 UTC
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Post by Janet
says...
Post by Katy Jennison
Post by Richard Heathfield
Post by Richard Yates
On Fri, 15 Dec 2017 12:40:48 +0000, Richard Heathfield
<snip>
Post by Richard Yates
Post by Richard Heathfield
Post by occam
Post by Richard Heathfield
Some of us are quite looking forward to it.
Yes, in the same way my children were always looking forward to the
fairy tales I'd read them before bedtime. Enjoy.
The fairy tale, if fairy tale there be, is the myth that the EU is a
good organisation of which to be a member. Fortunately, the *majority*
of UK voters who expressed an opinion at the recent referendum
recognised that myth for what it is and decided that they wanted no
further part of it. And I therefore conclude that, like me, the majority
of UK voters who expressed an opinion are not as dumb as some people
here think.
Yes, I know, but we get lots of logical fallacies in here, and nobody
bats an eyelid most of the time.
Post by Richard Yates
that people who agreed with you must have made a thoughtful and
reasoned decision. The reality is that the majority of votes on nearly
any such complicated question are based on fragmentary information,
propaganda, and arguments from authority.
Indeed - and that, of course, applies to those who voted to stay just as
much as it applies to those who voted to leave.
And that, of course, is in a nutshell precisely the argument for a
second referendum (pace occam) once there's a detailed draft agreement
to vote on.
I would be amazed if by the time we leave there is any "detailed
draft agreement" in place to vote on in a referendum. Post-Brexit it
will take at least two years discussion with EU to sort out trade,
economic and legal frameworks, and much longer to fill in the details.
And while we (for some values of 'we') are trying to settle our
departure, we (also for some values of 'we', and there's definitely an
overlap with the first 'we') are taking steps to set up a unitary
European patent for EU Member States - the agreements creating it
mandate that it cannot come into being until the UK has established its
part of the Unified Patent Court under EU law, with a branch in London.

The necessary approval of the draft Unified Patent Court (Immunities and
Privileges) Order 2017 was given recently by the Commons and earlier
this week by the Lords. It's now waiting only for the Privy Council.

I'm confident that our ace Brexit negotiating team will soon sort out
the future of these agreements.
--
Paul
Rich Ulrich
2017-12-15 19:18:01 UTC
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On Fri, 15 Dec 2017 14:06:43 +0000, Richard Heathfield
Post by Richard Heathfield
Post by Richard Yates
On Fri, 15 Dec 2017 12:40:48 +0000, Richard Heathfield
<snip>
Post by Richard Yates
Post by Richard Heathfield
Post by occam
Post by Richard Heathfield
Some of us are quite looking forward to it.
Yes, in the same way my children were always looking forward to the
fairy tales I'd read them before bedtime. Enjoy.
The fairy tale, if fairy tale there be, is the myth that the EU is a
good organisation of which to be a member. Fortunately, the *majority*
of UK voters who expressed an opinion at the recent referendum
recognised that myth for what it is and decided that they wanted no
further part of it. And I therefore conclude that, like me, the majority
of UK voters who expressed an opinion are not as dumb as some people
here think.
Yes, I know, but we get lots of logical fallacies in here, and nobody
bats an eyelid most of the time.
Post by Richard Yates
that people who agreed with you must have made a thoughtful and
reasoned decision. The reality is that the majority of votes on nearly
any such complicated question are based on fragmentary information,
propaganda, and arguments from authority.
Indeed - and that, of course, applies to those who voted to stay just as
much as it applies to those who voted to leave.
And that, IMO, is probably a comfortable myth.

I read that the Russians came in the the Brexit side, just for the
sake of promoting chaos if there wasn't another reason.

The only really big, influential lie that I heard attributed was
about the billions of pounds to be saved by Brexit. But I can't
speak confidently about Brexit. My reactions are based on the
American parallels. (Republicans becoming numb to lies is what
allowed Trump his chance.)

In answer to the American critics who questioned the importance
of their list of "Trump's lies" last summer - saying "all Presidents
lie" - the NY Times has newly tallied the first 10 months for Trump of
clear, unique lies at 103, with the comparison offered that Obama
"lied" (clearly stated something untrue) a total of 18 times in the
course of 8 years. They add that there is another difference, beyond
the huge quantitative one. Bush or Obama would /stop/
repeating a falsehood once it came to their attention, whereas
Trump typically never stops nor apologizes.

The online article includes the complete lists of lies, 103+18.
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/12/14/opinion/sunday/trump-lies-obama-who-is-worse.html
--
Rich Ulrich
Richard Heathfield
2017-12-15 19:55:41 UTC
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Post by Rich Ulrich
The only really big, influential lie that I heard attributed was
about the billions of pounds to be saved by Brexit.
For me at least, this was never about economics. It was always about
freedom.
--
Richard Heathfield
Email: rjh at cpax dot org dot uk
"Usenet is a strange place" - dmr 29 July 1999
Sig line 4 vacant - apply within
Bob Martin
2017-12-16 08:02:49 UTC
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Post by Richard Heathfield
Post by Rich Ulrich
The only really big, influential lie that I heard attributed was
about the billions of pounds to be saved by Brexit.
For me at least, this was never about economics. It was always about
freedom.
I can't resist:
So deluded. We are, in fact, about to lose many rights and freedoms,
including the right to live, work and study in 27 countries.
"We are about to lose what we had in return for something we never lost"

The EU is the best thing ever to happen to Europe, as the brexidiots will
find out when it's too late.

J. J. Lodder
2017-12-15 15:06:33 UTC
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Post by Richard Yates
On Fri, 15 Dec 2017 12:40:48 +0000, Richard Heathfield
Post by Richard Heathfield
Post by occam
Post by Richard Heathfield
Post by occam
Post by Dingbat
What is myth?
Look what's written on the side of the Brexit bus. /That's a myth./
I know I'm running the risk of jumping, perhaps wrongly, to a
conclusion, but would it be fair to say that you're not too keen on the
UK leaving the EU?
So, you're not as dumb as some people here think.
Neither are you, as I'm sure you'll be just as pleased to hear from me
as I was to hear it from you.
Post by occam
Post by Richard Heathfield
Some of us are quite looking forward to it.
Yes, in the same way my children were always looking forward to the
fairy tales I'd read them before bedtime. Enjoy.
The fairy tale, if fairy tale there be, is the myth that the EU is a
good organisation of which to be a member. Fortunately, the *majority*
of UK voters who expressed an opinion at the recent referendum
recognised that myth for what it is and decided that they wanted no
further part of it. And I therefore conclude that, like me, the majority
of UK voters who expressed an opinion are not as dumb as some people
here think.
that people who agreed with you must have made a thoughtful and
reasoned decision. The reality is that the majority of votes on nearly
any such complicated question are based on fragmentary information,
propaganda, and arguments from authority.
Indeed, a referendum decides between competing myths.
Any relation with reality is coincidental,

Jan
Jerry Friedman
2017-12-15 16:24:23 UTC
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Post by Dingbat
What is myth?
Any corrections to my response to the question, below, are welcome.
"I have read the Hellenic myths, Germanic myths and the Judeo-Christian myths"
- Marc James
How are you using the term /myth/?
1) simply a sacred story and saying nothing about or truth or falsity?
2) something that didn't really happen?
Or some other literary or technical meaning?
FWIW, mythos could mean #1; it could also mean a hagiography.
Myth, in some contexts, could mean mythos.
Fable is the term used by some writers to mean #2.
Myth, in some contexts, could mean fable.
The meaning of myth, IMHO, has to be divined from the author's apparent intent.
Bill O'Reilly took umbrage at Richard Dawkins saying "Christian myths";
it seemed that Bill objects to using the word at all to refer to
traditional Christian stories, even with meaning #1.
I'd say "myth" always has a strong suggestion of falseness.
--
Jerry Friedman
David Kleinecke
2017-12-15 18:19:27 UTC
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Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by Dingbat
What is myth?
Any corrections to my response to the question, below, are welcome.
"I have read the Hellenic myths, Germanic myths and the Judeo-Christian myths"
- Marc James
How are you using the term /myth/?
1) simply a sacred story and saying nothing about or truth or falsity?
2) something that didn't really happen?
Or some other literary or technical meaning?
FWIW, mythos could mean #1; it could also mean a hagiography.
Myth, in some contexts, could mean mythos.
Fable is the term used by some writers to mean #2.
Myth, in some contexts, could mean fable.
The meaning of myth, IMHO, has to be divined from the author's apparent intent.
Bill O'Reilly took umbrage at Richard Dawkins saying "Christian myths";
it seemed that Bill objects to using the word at all to refer to
traditional Christian stories, even with meaning #1.
I'd say "myth" always has a strong suggestion of falseness.
Or at least of unprovenness.

For example King David is the foundation myth of the Judean
state.
Katy Jennison
2017-12-15 19:00:24 UTC
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Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by Dingbat
What is myth?
Any corrections to my response to the question, below, are welcome.
"I have read the Hellenic myths, Germanic myths and the
Judeo-Christian myths"
  - Marc James
     How are you using the term /myth/?
       1)  simply a sacred story and saying nothing about or truth or
falsity?
       2)  something that didn't really happen?
     Or some other literary or technical meaning?
FWIW, mythos could mean #1; it could also mean a hagiography.
Myth, in some contexts, could mean mythos.
Fable is the term used by some writers to mean #2.
Myth, in some contexts, could mean fable.
The meaning of myth, IMHO, has to be divined from the author's apparent intent.
Bill O'Reilly took umbrage at Richard Dawkins saying "Christian myths";
  it seemed that Bill objects to using the word at all to refer to
  traditional Christian stories, even with meaning #1.
I'd say "myth" always has a strong suggestion of falseness.
I'd say that was a category mistake, arrived at by assuming that
something which is not literally factual or historical must therefore be
"false". A myth is likely to be allegorical or aspirational or both,
and to incorporate a particular sort of truth, about the way the
relevant society understands itself or about how it sees its heroes or
about how it survived great hardship or disaster, or something else.

The word does, it's true, also get applied to contemporary falsehoods.
That's wrong, dammit.
--
Katy Jennison
Jerry Friedman
2017-12-16 00:22:35 UTC
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Post by Katy Jennison
Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by Dingbat
What is myth?
Any corrections to my response to the question, below, are welcome.
"I have read the Hellenic myths, Germanic myths and the
Judeo-Christian myths"
  - Marc James
     How are you using the term /myth/?
       1)  simply a sacred story and saying nothing about or truth or
falsity?
       2)  something that didn't really happen?
     Or some other literary or technical meaning?
FWIW, mythos could mean #1; it could also mean a hagiography.
Myth, in some contexts, could mean mythos.
Fable is the term used by some writers to mean #2.
Myth, in some contexts, could mean fable.
The meaning of myth, IMHO, has to be divined from the author's apparent intent.
Bill O'Reilly took umbrage at Richard Dawkins saying "Christian myths";
  it seemed that Bill objects to using the word at all to refer to
  traditional Christian stories, even with meaning #1.
I'd say "myth" always has a strong suggestion of falseness.
I'd say that was a category mistake, arrived at by assuming that
something which is not literally factual or historical must therefore be
"false". A myth is likely to be allegorical or aspirational or both,
and to incorporate a particular sort of truth, about the way the
relevant society understands itself or about how it sees its heroes or
about how it survived great hardship or disaster, or something else.
Okay, "myth" always has a strong suggestion of non-factuality, and
usually of not belonging to the speaker; myths are for other people.
Post by Katy Jennison
The word does, it's true, also get applied to contemporary falsehoods.
That's wrong, dammit.
If it's an error, it's an old one. These are the earlier OED citations
for the three forms of the word:

mythos

1753 S. Shuckford /Creation & Fall of Man/ Pref. xxi Of this Sort
we generally find the /Mythoi/ told of them.
1803 G. S. Faber /Diss. Myst. Cabiri/ I. 324 I cannot but be
persuaded that the poem of Homer at least is a mere mythos.
1865 J. S. Mill /Auguste Comte/ 27 A God concerning whom no
mythos..had yet been invented.


mythus

1825 S. T. Coleridge /Lit. Remains/ (1836) II. 335 This the most
venerable, and perhaps the most ancient, of Grecian /mythi/, is a
philosopheme.
1841 R. C. Trench /Notes Parables/ 4 The Parable is different
from the Mythus, inasmuch as in the Mythus, the truth and that which
is only the vehicle of the truth are wholly blended together.
1850 Thackeray /Pendennis/ II. xxiii. 237 Conscience! What is
conscience?.. What is public or private faith? Mythuses alike
enveloped in enormous tradition.
1892 /Athenæum/ 24 Sept. 410/3 They consist of mythus and
tradition intermingled and intertangled.


myth

1. a.
1830 /Westm. Rev./ 12 44 These two stories are very good
illustrations of the origin of myths, by means of which, even the most
natural sentiment is traced to its cause in the circumstances of
fabulous history.
1846 G. Grote /Hist. Greece/ I. i. i. 67 It is neither history nor
allegory, but simple mythe or legend.
1866 /Edinb. Rev./ Apr. 312 The celebrated mythe or apologue
called 'The Choice of Hercules', one of the most impressive exhortations
in ancient literature to a life of labour and self-denial.

b.
1840 W. H. Mill /Observ. Gospel/ vi. 118 The same non-historical
region of philosophical myth.
1885 E. Clodd Myths & Dreams 7 Myth was the product of man's
emotion and imagination, acted upon by his surroundings.

2.
1849 E. Bulwer-Lytton /Caxtons/ II. x. iii. 167 As for Mrs
Primmins's bones, they had been myths these twenty years.
1854 'G. Eliot' Let. 23 Oct. (1954) II. 179 Of course many silly
myths are already afloat about me, in addition to the truth, which of
itself would be thought matter for scandal.
1874 A. H. Sayce /Princ. Compar. Philol./ iv. 165 The pronominal
root is a philological myth.

(philosopheme: "A demonstration or conclusion in philosophy; a
philosophical statement, theorem, or axiom.")
--
Jerry Friedman
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