...I agree with Jung's comment that "ideas" are developed out of what might as well be called "images" (Kant called these lesser elements "notions.") However, I want to specify that one need not buy into Jung's specific concept of inherited mythological images in order to validate his basic schema. Jung's predecessor-and-influence Cassirer said much the same thing, sans the inherited images.-- A PAUSE FOR POTENTIALITIES, 2015.
In WORLD AS WILL AND REPRESENTATION, Schopenhauer distinguishes between "intuitive" and "abstract" representations: humans share "intuitive representations" with other animals, in that they are based in the body's "percepts." But humans alone have the power to conceive "abstract representations," for humans alone can base representations in "concepts." I will use this basic opposition here, though I'll substitute "intellectual" for "abstract" purely for euphony.-- HERO VS. VILLAIN, MONSTER VS. VICTIM PART 3, 2012.
The first quote lists some of the predecessors that influenced me in my formulation of the four potentialities, though only two of them concern me in this essay:
The DIDACTIC is a potentiality that describes the relationships of abstract ideas.
The MYTHOPOEIC is a potentiality that describes the relationships of symbols.
I've also lined up these potentialities with my terms "overthought" (for the didactic) and "underthought" (for the the mythopoeic). The primary function of these terms is illustrative, to show how these discourses were functionally separated from the discourses spawned by the other potentialities, "the kinetic" and "the dramatic." I've lumped these two discourses together as "the lateral meaning," because I believe this represents the base experience that all audiences experience fictional constructs. And while I derived this line of thought largely from one of Frye's essays, there's also a possible influence from Schopenhauer. The discourses of "the kinetic" and "the dramatic" are theoretically comparable to the "intuitive representations" available not only to humans but also to the lower animals, since those discourses, whether simple or complex, may be reduced down to "does this 'other' cause me pain or pleasure," and "does this 'other' give help or hindrance?" Similarly, the didactic and the mythopoeic line up with what Schopenhauer called "abstract representations," because their subject matter is not concrete but abstract. Arguably, though, the very abstraction of the abstract potentialities may cause them to overlap much more than the "intuitive" pair.
In last year's essay AND THE HALF-TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE PART 2 I wrote:
Both "symbols" and "ideas" are abstract constructions, but symbols offer the artist "a free selection of causes"-- which I have aligned with my concept of "affective freedom"-- while ideas depend more upon establishing a chain of cause and effect, which I have aligned with "cognitive restraint." But both abstract constructions depend upon the use of fictive epistemology.
It was in my two HALF-TRUTH essays that I introduced the term "epistemological patterns." Though the term was new, I'd been writing about this particular abstract concept since the blog's beginnings, probably the first time I brought up Joseph Campbell. But because so much of the blog's content is devoted to sussing out the nature of mythopoeic discourse, I've neglected to give specific examples of the very different way in which the didactic phenomenality makes use of epistemological patterns.
The word "didactic" is derived from a Greek term meaning "apt at teaching." Thus any use of the didactic phenomenality must rely upon using rhetoric to teach audiences something. I suspect most if not all of the ancient Greeks would have viewed a literary's work meaning as one that was both rhetorical and discursive, and the later notions regarding "poetic intuition" would have been outside their wheelhouse. For me, writing in the shadow of Jung and others, I see that the didactic and the mythopoeic sometimes reinforce one another, sometimes conflict with one another, and at other times barely seem to exist in the same narrative-- as one can see in the 1984 Steve Ditko story ""AM I MARO, ROMA, OR RAEM?"
Because the philosophy of Ayn Rand has such a profound effect on Ditko, his greatest passion seems to have been to codify his Aristotelian/Randian beliefs into narrative entertainment. Ditko certainly knew that he could not make a living thumping this particular tub, and so many of his works don't overtly address his didactic concerns. Ditko also had considerable skill in rendering the discourses of the kinetic, the dramatic and the mythopoeic, but a story like "Raem" shows how intensely Ditko sought his version of epistemological patterns in the world of abstract ideas. One character in this story, featuring Ditko's short-lived hero "the Missing Man," voices Ditko's theme as explicitly as possible:
We're starting with reality and the law of identity, Syd. A is what it is, A. We intend to establish definition by essentials, root out false axioms, invalid anti-concepts and all the fallacies that permit the irrational to be treated as anything other than what it is: the inhuman.
The story's embodiment of "the irrational" is the villain of Raem Lanet, the Missing Man's opponent. This scientist, out of a desire for "prestige," transforms himself into a half-man, half-robot creature, in which form he attacks employers who have actually done him no wrong. Despite this overriding purpose, Raem experiences a conflict between his human half and his robot half, and this stands not as a mythopoeic discourse but a didactic one, since Ditko is trying to "teach" his readers that one side of Raem's personality is flawed and irrational, while the other is somewhat more rational and thus closer to the Randian truth. The "epistemological pattern" in this narrative would be predominantly psychological in nature, probably more than a little beholden to Freud's :"ego" and "id" conceptions.
Now, though Ditko's principle discourse is didactic in nature, the ego-id pattern has a mythopoeic potential as well, and can be found in literary works that precede Freud's rise to prominence, such as Stevenson's 1886 DOCTOR JEKYLL AND MISTER HYDE. A given artist might be able to utterly ignore that potential, for the sake of making a rhetorical point, and something like this transpires in STAR TREK's version of the Stevenson story, "The Enemy Within."
"Raem," however, shows instances where Ditko's instinct for the mythopoeic interferes with his rhetorical purpose, as I pointed out in the review:
...in "Raem," Ditko is close to invalidating his own philosophy. If the irrational is "inhuman," as Wrds says, than why isn't it incarnate in Raem's robot half? There have been any number of SF-stories in which a robotized human regained his humanity through empathizing with other humans, but though Ditko' does use the same basic trope, his focus is squarely upon the Randian choice between the true and the untrue. Ditko may have intuited that there was no way to attribute irrational bitterness and violent intent to the robot half, so he ends up with a final scenario in which the rational renunciation of such "anti-concepts" comes from either the robot half alone, or from some belated interface of human and robot. Either way, "Raem" may be Ditko's most passionate defense of Randism-- and as such, may also be a back-door admission of the significance of emotional value.To enlarge on this a little more, the same psychological patterns that Ditko uses in a didactic way, to get across a certain message, also have symbolic values, wherein "robot" usually connotes the antithesis of human empathy. Ditko doesn't want to default to that symbolic value, because he wants to critique the selfishness of human beings, so he tries-- with equivocal success-- to make Raem's robot-half more empathetic than his human half. The idea of human feelings arising from an inhuman imitation of humanity is at least as old as Collodi's "Pinocchio," and as Ditko uses the trope it's more of a mythic than a didactic concept given that Ditko doesn't succeed in giving Raem's robot half in a rational cause-and-effect origin.
So in "Raem," we see Ditko drawing upon psychological patterns for both the didactic and mythopoeic potentialities, even though his usages of each may contradict one another.