Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Summer 1968

Publisher

Fordham University

Abstract

Plato is undoubtedly the greatest myth-maker in the history of philosophy and perhaps, with the exception of Dante, the greatest myth-maker in all of history. But Plato's myths present problems which Dante's Divina Commedia does not, for myth is certainly a legitirnate element in poetry and the Divina Commedia, whatever its philosophical or theological significance, is, first and forernost, poetry. The dialogues of Plato, however, whatever their poetic valence (and it is admittedly great), are first and forernost philosophical discourse. Although scholars disagree profoundly on the rneaning of the Platonic myths, they agree that these rnyths are not literary devices or stylistic ornaments. The myths are integral to Platonic philosophy and, for this reason, the problems they present must be studied if Plato is to be understood.

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