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Plato and a More Definitive Understanding of Art and Philosophy - Essay Example

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Plato and a More Definitive Understanding of Art and Philosophy

Plato bases his argument upon several highly subjective and controversial premises: a) art in the Republic should first be didactic with the purpose of inculcating the virtues of being a good person, b) Those who merely seek the reflections of the forms and not the forms themselves are not artists and c) Most people view illusions as reality; only the artists/philosophers see the light. Naturally, theses statements not only represent a great range of issues, they encourage detractors to focus upon the inherent flaws and weaknesses that are therein represented. In this way, the following essay will seek to provide the reade with an informed understanding of the inherent weakness of Plato’s approach to the issue of art/philosophy. Naturally, the first level of argument which can be discussed is with regards to how Plato defines virtue. As one might expect, many pages and indeed entire passages of Plato’s work have been concentric on defining virtue in the means through which it can be maximized within our world. However, with that being said, it must be understood that virtue within the specific delineation of what defines arts and how it should be represented to the populace is ultimately a subjective understanding. In such a way, by promoting the belief that art should only be exhibited if it entails the possibility of fostering virtue and promoting the “goodness” of the person is something that cannot be defined by a single understanding and should not be presented as the benchmark by which art should be manifested. By providing something of a tangential analysis, the author can point to the fact that Nazi Germany fostered what they understood to be a “virtuous” society that fostered the goodness of the stakeholders that they deemed fit to be included within such a definition. Moreover, the totalitarianism of the Third Reich was not only visited upon the way in which ethnic minorities were treated, it also was expanded to the way in which political ideology, philosophy, and indeed art itself was presented. It does not take a great deal of historical analysis to point to the fact that the third right was heavily involved in promoting its own version of what art and artistry should entail. So much was the Third Reich interested in this specific understanding of redefining art that they even presented their own populace a traveling art exhibit which was dubbed as “degenerate art”. The ultimate purpose for referencing the third right within this understanding of Plato’s virtuous end good definition of art is with respect to the fact appointed to the ultimate subjectivity that a society and/or an individual may ascribe with regards to the way that art can and should look. Such inherent weakness points to the fact that an all-inclusive and simplistic definition of how art should be manifested should be shined and the individual should seek a more realistic delineation of the way in which art is defined and represented within a particular society/group. Another noted shortcoming with regards to Plato’s definition of art/philosophy and the means by which it should be integrated with the populace is with respect to the fact that he denotes that those who merely seek the reflections of the forms and not for themselves are not artists. Although it is with great respect that this author approaches the writings an understanding of Plato, it must also be understood that what is being referenced within this particular definition of what art should and should not be is a highly personal view upon what defines this genre. Ultimately, the definition of who is responsible for reflecting these forms and not focusing upon the form itself is a definitive right of the philosopher/artist to represent the subject matter in the ...Show more
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Summary

Within the Plato’s Republic, many definitions are put forward with regards to what can be defined as virtuous, good, and beneficial forms of art and/or artistic expression. …
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