The Platonic Myths

[Uber die Platonischen Mythem]
St. Augustines Press
Year of publication: 
Moral assessment: 
Type: Thought
Nothing inappropriate.
Requires prior general knowledge of the subject.
Readers with knowledgeable about the subject matter.
Contains doctrinal errors of some importance.
Whilst not being explicitly against the faith, the general approach or its main points are ambiguous or opposed to the Church’s teachings.
Incompatible with Catholic doctrine.
Literary quality: 
Transmits values: 
Sexual content: 
Violent content: 
Vulgar or obscene language: 
Ideas that contradict Church teaching: 
The rating of the different categories comes from the opinion of Delibris' collaborators

Josef Pieper (1904 - 1997) is one of the most notable Catholic thinkers of the postwar period and one of the masters of the philosophy of Christianity.

Plato has often been called a "myth-maker", although the expression is extremely inaccurate or, rather, simply untrue. For what characterizes myth is precisely that it is neither "poeticized" nor "created," and that the narrator is not its author. "Myth" in the strict sense are those stories that take place between the divine and the human sphere. They can only be expressed in symbolic language, and which, as the testimony of a sacred tradition, have a supra-historical origin.

Myths have been the subject of controversy, some have said "they are not a good vehicle for the exposition of thought". For Pieper they acquire a complete sense when a symbolic language is used, such as parables. Myth fits very well in religious language and not in historical language.

The message of the true myths narrated in the Platonic dialogues is very topical. Suddenly we notice a common and barely imaginable ground between the ancient author, who was falsely considered "only historically interesting", and the modern reader who discovers him as his contemporary.

Author: Vicente Huerta, Spain
Update on: Nov 2023