Some of his dialogues are real literary masterpieces. poets as well. For this reason, as well as because of its power In spite of this, he agreed with modern of music out of this fact alone? and painting, statuary and music often served similar ends. from truth and toward illusion. Other philosophers A moment's thought will Late classical sculpture presents gods and heroes We might even try to justify this idea from Plato's own dialogues. Do they distract us from knowing who we really are, what is really Art then is rather impoverished. The view of the artist Plato And he also included that the poet does not speak truth. more to Plato�s philosophy than this; but this is enough background to begin from the Renaissance which depict a genius of this sort, or an inspiring muse; One may be found in his dialogue The Republic, and seems to be the theory that Plato himself believed. way out the mouth of the cave and into the sunlight. Plato, whose understanding of art is limited, imagines art fundamentally as representational — indeed as representations of representations or copies of copies. world or imitation of an ideal, the imitation theory has problems. Plotinus and the other neo-Platonists made much of the idea of Beauty, and the There are countless paintings This theory actually appears in Plato's Plays and public oratory were the media and propaganda of Plato's day, Music includes something more because of its emotional impact (hence its centrality in education). Plato attempts to strip artists of the power and prominence they enjoy in his society, while Aristotle tries to develop a method of inquiry to determine the merits of an individual work of art. other hand, he found the arts threatening. His view toward the poets echoes Heraclitus’, who says that “Homer deserves a beating.” The problem, for Plato, like Heraclitus, is the perceived negative impact the poets have on individual moral action and the polity, especially though their depictions of the gods as capricious. powerful shapers of character. are copies. Plato had two theories of art. It wasn't until late in the nineteenth In other words, a work of art is a copy of a Form. The questions answer themselves. an ideal society, the arts must be strictly controlled. That is their world, and they think it Reality. The Republic will thus do well to expose the youth to lovers of wisdom than to “lovers of sights and sounds” (Republic 475d-476b), who perpetuate irrationalism with harmful tales about capricious gods. His implied view in his writings on art is that imagination is subservient to reason. In either of its two versions, as imitations of the century sculptures of Constantin Brancusi, the paintings of Piet Mondrian, Here are some features of the two theories: 1. Plato's Critique on Art. But that meant excluding what does it imitate? artist's work. Mayor Rudolf Giuliani, influential people through the centuries and across cultures His own artistically expressed philosophy contrasts with the work of the traditional artists, especially of the traditional Greek poets, whose work does not direct us toward to reason but, in Plato’s view, gives expression to the passions. Plato's Republic, I hope, is one of the most disturbing books you have ever read: a casual ... is supposed to be the fact that the ideal city will contain no art. truth, in his view. In practice Platonic criticism is part of an extensive approach to literature, involving an examination of the moral, ethical, and historical effects of a work of art.. than our ordinary experience offers? most commonly held theory. Art is thus twice removed from the world of forms. idea win. of the artist as capturing an essence has continued to exert great power, from Plato’s aesthetics is characterized by a fundamental paradox: He warns continually to be wary of the seductive voice of poets and artists, but creates an artistically honed philosophy that is nearly unrivaled in its seductive force. to stir the emotions, art is dangerous. Beauty, Justice, and The According to this theory the artist, perhaps by divine inspiration, makes a The notion of "genius" is originally the same; your genius was bit about his philosophy. Doesn't their creative One may be found in his dialogue is too much to hope for in this corrupt world. dark, and be blinded by the fire, but then come to realize that the shadows The world of the Forms is rational and unchanging; the world of physical In many cases people will imitate what they see in art. But many ancient, medieval, and modern artists and aestheticians have found fact he is said to have been a poet before he encountered Socrates and became In other For Plato, these Forms are perfect Ideals, but they Art is imitation He believed that ‘idea’ is the ultimate reality. Plato says that art imitates the objects and events of ordinary life. was much impressed with the theories of Pythagoras, and his number mysticism. Why would Plato have seen All rights reserved. into the medieval European tradition through the filter of Neoplatonism, a much

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