"To be a master of metaphor," Aristotle wrote in his Poetics, "is the greatest thing by far." Not, as we know from Plato, to be "used" as a form of rhetoric (which, as far as I know, he and the Socratic school disagreed with on an Ethical level with their Stoic contemporaties), but as a path to see the forms behind the shadows of his cave. Was, then Greek, and by extention, Roman Deification, as far as Frazer and Campbell declared it, seen by the post-Socratic philosophers, to be a higher form of truth than a literal interpretation of the narratives of Homer and and his predecessors? Is has been said that Socrates only read Homer. Is Campbell just reiterating Socratic thought on personification of abstract entities as being metaphors, or was Greek religion seen by these thinkers as the masses saw them: as actual Deities to be worshiped?

  • It might be worth adding a link or a few words to say who Campbell and Frazer; is it Frazer of The Golden Bough? Sep 9, 2016 at 6:13
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    According to Heidegger: "Socrates was indicted on the charge of disbelief in the gods of the city, and belief in new daemons"; so perhaps not disbelief in divinities per se; echoed and reinvented by Nietzsche much later ... even if he repudiated him by name. Sep 9, 2016 at 12:26
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    Echoed too by Heidegger, his famous "only a god can save us now"; and it seems from ourselves... Sep 9, 2016 at 12:29
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    Socrates rejected the charge of atheism (better : belief in gods difefrent from those of the City): thus, it is difficult to support the idea that he considered gos only as "personification of abstract entities or metaphors"... Sep 17, 2016 at 19:00

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