A Comment On Plato’s Aesthetics

The rest can be found here 

From Plato to New York Mayor Rudolf Giuliani, influential people through the centuries and across cultures have worried about the power of the arts to influence, and potentially to corrupt…”

Giulani and Plato?

His problem (Plato’s) with the arts was that they operated by images rather than by ideas, and thus that they might cloud the truth rather than clarifying it.

Yes, and religious traditions, for example, also have interpretations of how one ought to reproduce the image…a lot of their thinking has roots in Plato.

“Whatever one thinks of Plato’s solution to this problem, I suggest that this is one of the problems that elicited his proposals for severe censorship of the arts he so obviously loved and had been trained in.”

Is there any way to discuss what we ought to be exposed and free to do without a discussion of morality?  moral philosophy? and so often…moralism?

See Also:  Some paintings Saddam kept in a safehouse.


Guiliani and Plato are definitely an “odd couple”! 😉

I’ve always had problems with Plato’s stance on art. Yes, art uses images, but generally these images are meant to communicate something—often times what they are meant to communicate is an idea! Likewise, who is to say that seeking truth through words and concepts (Plato’s alternative to “art”) isn’t also a way to cloud the truth, perhaps a method that results in more clouding?

Interesting connection to the Abrahamic take on idolatry, by the way. I wonder what Plato would think of the argument that an idea is simply a conceptual image?

Thanks for posting.

Interesting idea. When imagining electric field lines for example, the idea is a form of conceptual image.

Then again, if I only looked at pictures, I might not understand the ideas or math behind the images.

Leave a Reply

Name and email address are required. Your email address will not be published.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title="" rel=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <pre> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong> 

%d bloggers like this: