Can you please explain and summarize the following excerpt from Darko Suvin's "Estrangement and Cognition," published in Speculations on Speculation: Theories of Science Fiction?

"2.1. The use of estrangement both as underlying attitude and dominant formal device is found also in the myth, a 'timeless' and religious approach looking in its own way beneath (or above) the empiric surface. However, SF sees the norms of any age, including emphatically its own, as unique, changeable, and therefore subject to a cognitive view. The myth is diametrically opposed to the cognitive approach since it conceives human relationships as fixed and supernaturally determined, emphatically denying Montaigne's 'la constance même n'est qu'un branle plus languissant.' The myth absolutizes and even personifies apparently constant motifs from sluggish societies. Conversely, SF, which focuses on the variable and future-bearing elements from the empirical environment, is found predominantly in the great whirlpool periods of history, such as the sixteenth-seventeenth and nineteenth-twentieth centuries. Where the myth claims to explain once and for all the essence of phenomena, SF first posits them as problems and then explores where they lead; it sees the mythical static identity as an illusion, usually as fraud, at best only as a temporary realization of potentially limitless contingencies. It does not ask about 'The Man' or 'The World,' but which man? In what kind of world? And why such a man in such a kind of world? As a literary genre, SF is fully as opposed to supernatural or metaphysical estrangement as it is to naturalism or empiricism."

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This author of the passage attempts to further define science fiction by comparing it against the myth genre. While both of these genres use estrangement as a literary device, science fiction uses this device in a different way.

Here, estrangement refers to how both of these genres address problems, societies, and character types that are present throughout all of history. Here's the difference: In myths, these types of problems, societies, and characters are forever occurring. There will always be people and predicaments like the ones that exist in any mythical story. Myths are heavily connected with archetypes, which are very typical examples of a person or thing. These archetypes are unchanging. The characters, plot, and setting in a myth are based on unchanging principles.

This contrasts with estrangement in science fiction. Montaigne's quote (in French above) translates to this: "constancy itself is only a more languid movement." This means that even with estrangement, this seeming timelessness, there are inner changes that occur. These changes may be era- and character-specific.

This makes sense considering how science fiction addresses the present and looks into the future, whereas myth looks into the past. Basically, the myth is based on fixed properties that are supposedly apparent in the world we experience, but science fiction is not fixed. It is a genre of exploration that forces the reader to look deeper. This is what the author is referring to when he brings up the "cognitive view."

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