Links Between Mythology and Philosophy: Homer’s Iliad and Current Criteria of Rationality




It is usually said that there is a clear difference between pre-philosophical texts such as Homer’s Iliad and what is provided in the fragments corresponding to first philosophers such as Thales of Miletus. This paper tries to show that this is not undoubtedly so, and it does that by means of the analysis of a fragment of the Iliad in which Hypnos is speaking. In this way, the main argument is that, while the fragment can be interpreted both in a literal and in a metaphorical or poetic sense, in both of those cases it can be thought that it is related to philosophy or rational thinking. If the interpretation is literal, the fragment expresses an idea very akin to an important thesis by Thales of Miletus. On the other hand, if the interpretation is metaphorical or poetic, we have to assume, following several contemporary reasoning theories, that the fragment is essentially based on an evident rational inference.

Author Biography

Miguel López Astorga, Talca University

Professor and researcher at the Institute of Humanistic Studies "Juan Ignacio Molina", University of Talca


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