Plato_Imitation

Plato_Imitation - Plato"Against Imitation[from his Republic...

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"Against Imitation" [from his Republic Book X] [statements in brackets are my comments] 1) our State [the Republic: the ideal government ] a) Consider our rule about poetry: rejection of imitative poetry from the ideal state. [Imitative poetry includes for example when an actor imitates a general on stage, or today, in a movie.] b) We distinguish the parts of the soul [appetitive, passionate, rational] [and the three parts of the state: craftsmen, military/police, and the rulers…the philosopher kings in Plato’s ideal state.] c) All poetical imitations [by tragedians and other members of the imitative tribe, including for example epic poets like Homer and lyric poets like Archilochus] are ruinous to the understanding: knowledge of the true nature of poetry is the only antidote. d) Socrates: I love Homer, but I love truth more. 2) What is imitation? a) Let us follow the usual manner of inquiry [i.e. looking for a definition, as we looked for a definition of “beauty” in class]. b) When a number of individuals have a common name they have a corresponding idea or form. c) Consider beds and tables: there are only two ideas or forms of them, one of each. d) A maker of beds makes them in accord with the idea [the ideal, the essence] of a bed. e) No artificer makes the ideas. 3) There is another artist: a maker of all the works of all other workmen, indeed of all things. [We are meant to wonder who this is.] a) He makes the gods also. [So is it God? No.] b) In one sense, he is yourself, i.e. when you have a mirror. c) But in making things with a mirror, you produce appearances only. d) The painter too is like this: he is a creator of appearances. [Is this true?] He creates a bed, but not a real one. e) The maker of the bed does not make the idea or essence of the bed, but a particular bed. i) He does not make true existence but semblance of existence. ii) Glaucon:
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Plato_Imitation - Plato"Against Imitation[from his Republic...

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