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A Study of Tales containing Contradiction, Ambiguity, and Absurdness : Levy-Bruhl, L. "La Mytologie Primitive" and Clinical Psychological Views


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  • 矛盾、曖昧さ、荒唐無稽さを含んだ物語について : Levy-Bruhlの『原始神話学』と臨床心理学的視点
  • ムジュン 、 アイマイサ 、 コウトウ ムケイ サ オ フクンダ モノガタリ ニ ツイテ : Levy-Bruhl ノ 『 ゲンシ シンワガク 』 ト リンショウ シンリガクテキ シテン

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Lévy-Bruhl, Lucien (1857-1939) is known for word ʼparticipation mystiqueʼ which has affected Jungian analytical psychology. By advocating the concept of ʼprelogicalʼ participation, he claimed that researchers could not understand any phenomena with one scale which can be regarded as plausible for the culture to which the researchers belong. His posture expressed above is well shown by his work "La Mytologie Primitive", over his comprehensions about many tales containing contradiction, ambiguity, and absurdness, different from myth prepared systematically. In this study, the author would like to argue whether the important things suggestive for psychotherapy is contained in his view which admonishes against interpreting the primitive myth as which mystical existences are felt freshly in a modern style. In some anthropological works, the researchers stated their opinions that, when some amazing phenomena suddenly appeared, although primitive people considered carefully and needed myths as explanations of those phenomena, they got confused for the weakness of logical capability, and invented absurd myths. Lévy-Bruhlʼs works throw questions at such views. In his opinion, those are only self-righteous understandings for which thoughts and feelings of the European who aims at logic applied to primitive mentality. He asserted that, for the primitive people, the mythological world consisted of the direct actual things revealed in their dreams or amazing phenomena, and they believed in the reality of mythological world just because it was absurd. People who believed prelogical tales were performing and telling such myths and had participation in mystical world to own the power of animals, plants, objects, and phenomena. We who live in the present age have also prelogical vestiges, and need some tales with contradiction, ambiguity, and absurdness. As Lévy-Bruhl did about primitive myth, we psychotherapists sometimes need to take in the absurdity of our clients as it is without logic. It would be necessary for us to prepare the clinical psychological sessions as times and places released from the need to be logical.


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