Week 4 Plato And Art

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Week 4 Plato And Art

  1. 1. PLATO (427-347 B.C.): attacks the arts of his days (epic poets and dramatists) in The Republic . ( Text and Illustrations by Donald Palmer, Does the Center Hold?: An Introduction to Western Philosophy, CA, Mayfield, 1991) Plato and the Arts
  2. 2. The great poets of Greece (for example, Homer)  produce bad fictions– false stories that have bad effects on their listeners.  create a fear of death. The arts should be censored!!! Source: John Fisher, Reflecting on Art , California: Mayfield, 1993)
  3. 3. Plato’s Ontological Objection :  Art is imitation (mimesis)  Art imitates the world as it appears, not the world as it is.  Art is a copy of “particular objects” which are themselves copies of higher things”  Art is in the realm of ‘images’, an illusion.
  4. 4. House of Deception
  5. 6. The function of art is to deceive. From reality (the Forms)  / toward illusion (images) 
  6. 7. Some arts might be justifiable.
  7. 8. Plato’s Epistemological Objection  The work of art does not give us any knowledge of the world  The artists do not know what they are doing.
  8. 9. Plato’s Moral Objection  The pursuit of knowledge is the pursuit of the Good, and if art produces ignorance, then art is immoral.  Art seems to focus on the flaws in human and divine nature (showing great men and gods doing immoral things)  Art does not appeal to the highest faculty of the soul, Pure reason.
  9. 10. <ul><li>Homer and Greek Tragedies </li></ul><ul><li>Zeus cheats on his wife. </li></ul><ul><li>Achilles, the hero of the Trojan War says that it is better to be a live coward than a dead hero </li></ul>
  10. 11. Art appeals to the senses and the desire for pleasure rather than to reason and the desire for knowledge.
  11. 12. “ Just get out of here!!! “

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