This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Perspective Of Plato And Aristotle On The Value Of Art

1389 words - 6 pages

The Perspective of Plato and Aristotle on the Value of Art

 
As literary critics, Plato and Aristotle disagree profoundly about the value of art in human society. 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. It is interesting to note that these two disparate notions of art are based upon the same fundamental assumption: that art is a form of mimesis, imitation. Both philosophers are concerned with the artist's ability to have significant impact on others. It is the imitative function of art which promotes disdain in Plato and curiosity in Aristotle. Examining the reality that art professes to imitate, the process of imitation, and the inherent strengths and weaknesses of imitation as a form of artistic expression may lead to understanding how these conflicting views of art could develop from a seemingly similar premise.

            Both philosophers hold radically different notions of reality. The assumptions each man makes about truth, knowledge, and goodness directly affect their specific ideas about art. For Plato, art imitates a world that is already far removed from authentic reality, Truth. Truth exists only in intellectual abstraction, that is, paradoxically, more real than concrete objects. The universal essence, the Idea, the Form of a thing, is more real and thus more important than its physical substance. The physical world, the world of appearances experienced through the senses, does not harbor reality. This tangible world is an imperfect reflection of the universal world of Forms. Human observations based on these reflections are, therefore, highly suspect. At best, the tangible fruit of any human labor is "an indistinct expression of truth" (Republic X, 22). Because knowledge of truth and knowledge of good are virtually inseparable to Plato, he counsels rejection of the physical in favor of embracing reason in an abstract, intellectual, and ultimately more human, existence. Art is removed from any notion of real truth, an inherently flawed copy of an already imperfect world. Art as an imitation is irrelevant to what is real.

            Aristotle approaches reality from a completely different premise. While his ideas do stand in sharp contrast to Plato's, they are not simply a refutation of his former mentor's views. To Aristotle, the world exists in an infinitely diverse series of parts.  These various parts are open to human observation and scrutiny. Rather than an eternally regressing truth beyond the scope of human apprehension, knowledge of truth and good are rooted firmly in the observable universe; truth, or at least gestures toward it, lies in existence rather than essence. Aristotle encourages embracing the particular in order to possibly gain a sense of the universal. There is, however, no universal system of inquiry to investigate each part of the whole....

Find Another Essay On The Perspective of Plato and Aristotle on the Value of Art

Examining the Ethics of Plato and Aristotle

1051 words - 4 pages This essay will be examining the ethics of Plato (428-347 BCE) and Aristotle (384-322 B.C). I will firstly attempt to summarise the five fundamental concepts of Plato and Aristotle before providing my own opinion and view on their ethics. I will concentrate on their theories on the good life as a life of justice, censorship, knowledge and the good life. I will first examine Plato’s ethics. Plato was a philosopher who was both a rationalist

The Views Of Reality Of Plato and Aristotle

1015 words - 4 pages The Views of Reality of Aristotle and PlatoIntroductionThe purpose of this essay is to compare and contrast the views of reality of both Aristotle and Plato. Plato and Aristotle, two of some of the greatest philosophers of Ancient Greece, were connected in studies. Plato was taught by Socrates, then Aristotle studied at Plato's Academy. Plato was the first of the two to study, and Aristotle then studied there. And, upon learning this, one would

Comparing Plato and Aristotle on government and the concept of good

1645 words - 7 pages Plato is primarily concerned with knowing the good. In the Republic, Plato intends to define justice and describes an elaborate city-state setup with the goal of being a just city. A guardian class of philosophers rules in Plato's city, because these are the only people who can know the good. Everyone else's role in the city is to do their work to support the city so that the guardians are able to philosophize. Aristotle does not follow this

Arguments of Plato in The Republic and Aristotle in Poetics

1195 words - 5 pages What does imitation (mimesis) involve for Plato and Aristotle? Explain its different features. Mimesis, the ‘imitative representation of the real world in art and literature’ , is a form that was particularly evident within the governance of art in Ancient Greece. Although its exact interpretation does vary, it is most commonly used to describe artistic creation as a whole. The value and need for mimesis has been argued by a number of

The Beliefs of Plato vs Aristotle

3784 words - 15 pages , Aristotle was never initiated and depended on logical speculation for the development of his theories. This accounts for his many divergences from the teachings of Plato, whose philosophy was based upon the wisdom of the ancient East. According to Diogenes Laertius, Aristotle fell away from his teacher while Plato was still alive, whereat Plato remarked, "Aristotle has kicked me, as foals do their mothers when they are born." While there is

The Value of Art

2453 words - 10 pages The Value of Art Art can be misunderstood, misinterpreted, and misplaced in modern society. This is especially true in the life of Christians. Many Christians completely disregard art because they think it is a form of self-worship, a waste of time, or simply have no idea how to approach art. Some Christians will even avoid art museums, performances, and discussions because they do not want anything to do with art. Is something wrong with this

The Notion of the Good in the Ethical Views of Plato and Aristotle

1636 words - 7 pages The Notion of the Good in the Ethical Views of Plato and Aristotle 1. Discuss the notion of "the good" in the ethical views of Plato and Aristotle. State which of potentiality would lead to normal life. Plato explored such subjects as beauty, justice, and good government. Plato's ethics were ethics of happiness. He based his ethical theory on the proposition that all people desire happiness although, of course, people sometimes

Difference in the Philosophy of Plato and Aristotle and Their Influence

1585 words - 7 pages Republic of Plato. United States of America: Basic Books. 1991. Print. 24 May, 2014. IEP. Aristotle. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2014. Web. 25 May, 2014. Groarke, Louis. Aristotle’s Logic. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2014. Web. 25 May, 2014. Buckner. Mill on the syllogism. The Logic Museum. 2007. Web. 25 May, 2014. Moore E., Edward. Origen of Alexandria. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2014. Web. 25 May, 2014. Moore E., J. Aristotle’s contribution to science, education and physics. JCMoore E.Online. 2010. Web. 25 May, 2014. Just, Felix. Western Religions. Catholic Resources. 18 March, 2012. Web. 25 May, 2014.

A Comparison of Plato and Aristotle

1892 words - 8 pages Plato and Aristotle, two philosophers in the 4th century, hold polar views on politics and philosophy in general. This fact is very cleverly illustrated by Raphael's 'School of Athens' (1510-11; Stanza della Segnatura, Vatican), where Plato is portrayed looking up to the higher forms; and Aristotle is pointing down because he supports the natural sciences. In a discussion of politics, the stand point of each philosopher becomes an essential

Historical Views of Leadership: Plato and Aristotle

1780 words - 7 pages through the eyes of two titans of Greek thought: Plato and Aristotle. Both men lived in 4th century BCE Athens, so much of their background and experience was shared. Aristotle was the younger of the two, and he was Plato’s student. Where leadership is concerned, both philosophers agreed that the “best men” should rule, and that the purpose of leadership was the betterment of the State. They also agreed that education was paramount to forming

Plato and Aristotle: Their Contributions to the Development of Western Philosophy

604 words - 2 pages the 21st century and will continue to be. Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and one of the top 5 contributors to Western philosophy, gifted student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. As with Plato, Aristotle lead the founding figures of Western philosophy, his writings were the first to create a comprehensive system encompassing morality and aesthics, logic and science, politics and metaphysics. His views on the physical sciences

Similar Essays

Imitation; Truthful Or Deceptive? The Concept Of Art To Plato And Aristotle

1810 words - 7 pages As literary critics, Plato and Aristotle disagree profoundly about the value of art in human society. 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. It is interesting to note that these two disparate notions of art are based upon the same fundamental assumption: that art is a form of mimesis, of

Plato Vs. Aristotle On Art Essay

1979 words - 8 pages during 420-348 B.C. in Athens, and Aristotle, Plato’s student who argued against his beliefs, have no exceptions to the steps they had to take in order to understand the purpose of art and artists. Though these two philosophers made marvelous discoveries about the existence of art, artists, and aesthetic experience, Plato has made his works more controversial than Aristotle. During the ancient times in Greece, Plato was the first human to document

Plato & Aristotle Differences In Art

629 words - 3 pages term, Art. Today, as we study the philosophical ideas of how and why things are, as they seem, we are reminded of the ideas and believes of both Plato and his mentee Aristotle. What they have had deem as art and its representation are of so much value though the differences are subjected to its matter. However amongst all these, it came from the same agreement in its form of mimesis, in other words, imitation. Art today has been classified as a

A Comparative Study On The Philosophies Of Plato And Aristotle

1803 words - 7 pages the moral regulation of the state. The state governed not only art and music but also family and intimate matters of individuals of the state. Plato did not believe in the institution of marriage and family. Aristotle, on the other hand, allowed family and marriage but regulated the minimum age for marriage and the number of children the citizens were allowed to conceive. Aristotle and Plato believed in the rule of one man or a group of people