MoL-2002-02: Context and Mythology

MoL-2002-02: Duda, John (2002) Context and Mythology. [Report]

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In this thesis, I will survey some philosophically representative approaches to the problem of the relationship between context and meaning. Starting from G.W.F. Hegel's discussion of the meaninglessness of indexical terms in the Phenomenology of Spirit, I will investigate Gottlob Frege's notion of context and the legacy of this notion in the formal sciences of language, showing that this approach finds a ground for meaning in contexts which themselves must be thought of as meaningful. The formal approach will be compared with the theory of context developed by Philipp Wegener and expanded by the ethnographer Bronislaw Malinowksi, which locates the ground of meaning outside of the purview of the reasoning subject, locating context in culture. These differing conceptions of context as meaningful or effective presence will then be problematized by an assessment of the threat of the later work of Ludwig Wittgenstein to any philosophical defense of the notions of meaning and context. Similarities between Wittgenstein's attack on meaning and the hermeneutic tradition, especially Hans-Georg Gadamer, will also be discussed, and the groundlessness or self-grounding of meaning will reveal an unexpected convergence between the idea of context and that of myth. Finally, the potential ramifications of and reactions to meaning understood as myth will be examined through the work of Edmund Husserl in his The Crisis of European Sciences and the work of Roland Barthes in "Myth Today".

Item Type: Report
Report Nr: MoL-2002-02
Series Name: Master of Logic Thesis (MoL) Series
Year: 2002
Uncontrolled Keywords: context, meaning, culture
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2016 14:38
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2016 14:38

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