Ever since the rise of science and the scientific method in the seventeenth century, we have rejected mythology as the product of superstitious and primitive minds. Only now are we coming to a fuller appreciation of the nature and role of myth in human history. In these five lectures originally prepared for the CBC, Claude L vi-Strauss, one of the world's greatest living thinkers, offers the insights of a lifetime spent interpreting myths and trying to discover their significance for human understanding.
The lectures begin with a discussion of the historical split between mythology and science and the evidence that mythic levels of understanding are being reintegrated in our approach to knowledge. In an extension of his theme, Professosr L vi-Strauss analyses what we have called 'primitive' thinking and discusses some universal features of human mythology. The final two lectures outline the functional relationship between mythology and history and the structural relationship between mythology and music.
Combining history, anthropology, and philosophy, this book provides a broad and penetrating perspective on the contemporary western world.