International Studies in Phenomenology and Philosophy

Journal | Volume | Article


Mythopoetic naturalization

toward a new paradigm of reification

Bryan Smyth

pp. 469-500


This paper sketches a new approach to the critical-theoretic problem of reification understood as a normatively problematic form of naturalizing or dehistoricizing entifcation. Entifcation in general is approached phenomenologically in terms of the mythic outer horizonality of the lifeworld, and reification is shown to stem from the dichotomy between nature and history which, along with a corresponding dichotomy between myth and reason, is characteristic of Enlightenment rationality. Dereification necessitates overcoming these dichotomies, and this implies a critical embrace of myth and mythopoesis in the sense of instituting more normatively appropriate lifeworld horizons. While classical Marxism and radical social theory have typically adhered to the standard model of Enlightenment thought, with the result that the critique of naturalization backfires by reinforcing the dichotomy between nature and history, Luxemburgian spontaneism, rethought through a phenomenology of embodied enaction, is shown to ofer a more viable way of understanding reification and its solution.

Publication details

Published in:

Jurga Saulius, Kavoulakos Konstantinos (2021) Reification. Metodo 9 (2).

Pages: 469-500

DOI: 10.19079/metodo.9.2.469

Full citation:

Smyth Bryan (2021) „Mythopoetic naturalization: toward a new paradigm of reification“. Metodo 9 (2), 469–500.