Plato’s treatment of the arts

I did my rewrite on Plato and realized how much I’ve changed over the year pretty much since my very first arts one essay and I also realized (too late now) that a little bit of research goes a long way…it’s kinda like having a virtual arts one seminar…pulling in new ideas…but with people online…and from the past century (the articles I used, I only realized after are from the early 1900s??)

In spite of his support for the use of music and stories of good men etc. in the education system mentioned in Book III, I thought that maybe Plato’s, after all, against the arts since he dedicated a whole chapter to it in Book X, on why it should be controlled, and he even goes to the extent of banishing poets.

After doing a bunch of research for my rewrite (trying to find articles that won’t refute my main argument not gonna lie LOL), I found that like me, many find the disparity between his treatment of the arts in Book III and Book X confusing and people try to account for that by concluding that he’d forgotten the argument he had in the beginning. Not that that is completely impossible, but this deduction is unbelievably simple and personally…I couldn’t buy into it. So I googled, strolled through the internet a bit…and found two articles which provided somewhat feasible explanations for the discrepancy and interpretations of Plato’s treatment of the arts.

The first article talks about how there is no need to make sense of the difference because the issues Plato discusses in Book III and Book X are completely different, to begin with. Book III is about imitation in relation to truth while Book X is about the treatment of imitation. The second article talks about how Plato himself has misunderstood the effects of imitative art on our knowledge of reality. Plato is all about knowing the form, physical attributes of the object are more or less insignificant to him. Therefore, there is no call for worry because arts can, in an educative sense, allow us to KNOW the form. Both authors think that it takes time for the readers to decipher but Plato loves the arts.


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