Abstract

Such terms as Fate, Necessity, Destiny are routinely treated as high-level philosophical and theological abstractions. This article argues in favor of viewing them, alternatively, in terms of their philological and etymological content. Its method is based on the work of Richard B. Onians, who saw in these locutions only half-dead metaphors, which were used in the oldest texts not, as we do, to express abstract ideas, but, rather, to represent pseudoscientific notions and to describe religious convictions concerning the hidden forces that were thought to govern human existence. Examples are drawn from the entire range of ancient Greek epic and tragic literature, as filtered through the lens of the classically educated Sigmund Freud.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 1-29
Launched on MUSE
2014-08-18
Open Access
No
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