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Keywords:

  • autonomous individual;
  • belief;
  • myth;
  • reality

Abstract.  The topic of the March 2011 symposium in Zygon is “The Mythic Reality of the Autonomous Individual.” Yet few of the contributors even discuss “mythic reality.” Of the ones who do, most cavalierly use “myth” dismissively, as simply a false belief. Rather than reconciling myth with reality, they oppose myth to reality. Their view of myth is by no means unfamiliar or unwarranted, but they need to recognize other views of myth and to defend their own. Above all, they need to appreciate the grip that any belief aptly labelled myth has—a grip that holds at least as much for a false belief as for a true one.