Subject and Keywords:
The aim of this article is to show that a hypothesis of a relationship between orality and the instability of the transmitted contentdoes not correctly describe traditional societies. Despite the fact that these societies use only the spoken word, the transmitted content hasa high level of stability. This leads one to seek an additional factor which is responsible for this state of affairs (“factor X”). The article discusses three classic anthropological concepts of that factor (LucienLévy-Bruhl, Claude Levi-Strauss, Roy Rappaport), and the research problems associated with it, such as the issue of its ontological status,the problem of the relationship between factor X and orality and the antithetical nature of the relationship of literacy to factor X.