Labyrinth Research Bibliography

Bibliography of Studies Related to Labyrinth Research (.pdf 517K)

This downloadable Bibliography has all entries sorted by author. The entries in the bibliography have been categorized below by topic and also by type (doctoral dissertation, journal article etc.).

Returning to the labyrinth: The sacrificial body in Cartesian philosophy, phenomenology and the myth of Ariadne and Theseus

Temple-Hoon, J.

Abstract:  This dissertation traces a journey through Cartesian and phenomenological philosophy, depth psychology, and the Greek myth of Ariadne and Theseus. As though inside a multicursal labyrinth, the work follows a particular trajectory in Western thought that is rooted in ancient myth, emerged as philosophy in the sixth century BCE, and came to dominate Western culture through Cartesian philosophy from the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries.  Whereas Cartesianism established the mind in opposition to the body and the world, phenomenology, which emerged from Cartesianism in the twentieth century, collapses Cartesian duality and radically revises Cartesian notions of reality, the body, and the world. By re-defining transcendence not as meaning beyond the world, but as meaning of the world, and by redefining the cogito not as disembodied consciousness, but as consciousness characteristic of and belonging to the world's body, phenomenology represents the mind of the West returning to the body and the world from which it emerged and which it abandoned at the beginning of Western culture.

The myth of Ariadne and Theseus provides evocative images from the beginning of the Western cultural story that are revelatory for where we are today and that provide a way to imagine a future beyond Cartesian duality. Following the path of depth psychology's return to myth and image, and guided by the thread of Maurice Merleau-Ponty's phenomenology, this dissertation returns to the mythic labyrinth and discovers in the image of the Minotaur the denied body as a denial of death at the center of the Western cultural labyrinth. It imagines consciousness of the paradoxical unity of death and life as nurturing a re-birth of mind and consciousness into the flesh of the world.

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