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Lecture 20

PHL105Y5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 20: European Credit Transfer And Accumulation System, Hummus

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Diana Raffman

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NOV 16TH 2015
The republic: to design an ideal society (utopian)
Role of art in the REPUBLIC is very important.
He is conservative on his views about art can be said to be censorship
He thinks art is dangerous in the sense of it can potentially corrupt our
He doesn’t want to leave the education of the youth to the poets and artists,
he thinks drama is the most dangerous of all arts
He makes to main claims:
Imitates bad things (likely to damage our morals)
Plato had the idea that artists just copy (all art by its nature is merely coping
What is being copied?
Highest good is knowledge for Plato (philosophers are the best informed and
thus should design and run the educational system)
If you want knowledge you should look at the original and not a copy! Art
work is clouding your perception of the truth since it is a copy
Art works deceive us, especially when they are really good copies and can
deceive us into misinterpreting the reality.
Form for Plato were abstract objects like the number two of Beethoven’s
symphony they are definitions or expressions of the essence of things.
He puts the forms right at the top (forms is metaphysics)
A branch of philosophy that studies the things that exist
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Plato constructs a hierarchy in epistemology (things we know) and
metaphysics and puts the forms right at the top
A chair is a definition (abstract) if it is a picture it is an imagistic
representation. The perfect or ideal chair
The physical chair we are seating on is the material chair (ordinary) made
of physical matter.
Real= perfect yet all material objects are just approximations to the ideal
“the artist is at the 3rd removed from the truth” and the artist’s chair
(example: A painting)
Level one: ideal chair
Level two: ordinary chair
Level three: painting (representation of the chair)
Maker level 1: God* (bit more complicated since Plato had a particular view on
religion or faith)
Maker level 2: carpenter
Maker level 3: artist
An artist is just holding up a mirror and imitating (in a way he doesn’t have
a lot of respect for the craft of the artist but in another he does because he is
so afraid of it that he thinks is dangerous)
If you want to learn about chairs: Go make one, design one, or seat on one
Images are captivating and persuasive in a way text is not (Plato is worried
about that)
He is afraid that the architects and painters ects will take his audience away
from him
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