Focusing on the paradox of modernity, Hans Blumenberg suggests that myth will not be transcended by reason, but he must defend the Enlightenment and the legitimacy of the modern it initiates. His studies of myth can be read as an alternative critical theory, or the disclosure of a heterogeneous aspect of critical theory. Enlightenment and myth are dichotomously connected, not so much in the sense that Enlightenment turns itself into myth, but in the sense that myth asserts itself through Enlightenment, or that subjectivity asserts itself through myth when it is in decline. The modern doctrine of political myth based on the dialectics of Enlightenment is a continuation of the classical humanist tradition, but gives myth a critical function. The key to understanding myth is that at any given moment, multiple myths must operate simultaneously, and that no one myth can override the others. Based on this notion, Blumenberg reads Goethe's singular aphorism—"Nemo contra deum nisi deus ipse” (no one can resist God but God himself)—in terms of a polytheistic aestheticism of new mythology, suggesting a new Enlightenment and calling for a new philosophy of hope.
Hans Blumenberg; paradox of modernity; new mythology; self-assertion; polytheistic aestheticism
Hu, Jihua, and Yu Shan. 2022. "The Paradox of Modernity and the Enlightenment through Myth: Hans Blumenberg’s Theory of Myth and Its Political Implications." Theoretical Studies in Literature and Art 42, (5): pp.1-12. https://tsla.researchcommons.org/journal/vol42/iss5/1