The Republic Study Guide Book X Discussion Questions 1. Socrates continues his argument by expressing satisfaction with the vision of an ideal city he has articulated. In particular, he is happy with his prohibition of art, or what he calls the imitative: “For that the imitative, more than anything, must not be admitted looks, in my opinion, even more manifest now that the soul’s forms have each been separated out.” (595b) It might seem obvious that art imitates reality, but Socrates argues that it is three, not two, “generations” removed from truth. Explain using the example of the couch. 2. To prove that imitation is a bad thing, Socrates asked whether someone who could make something that is real would settle for something that is not. He implies that Homer is “third from the truth about virtue.” (599d) Is his argument valid? Do artists only care about the appearance of things and not about their worth, or truth? Do they prefer illusion to truth? Is art merely play? (601c, 602a-602b)
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