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Images of ExcellencePlato's Critique of the Arts$
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Christopher Janaway

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198237921

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198237928.001.0001

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Plato and the Philosophy of Art

Plato and the Philosophy of Art

Chapter:
(p.182) 8 Plato and the Philosophy of Art
Source:
Images of Excellence
Author(s):

Christopher Janaway (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0198237928.003.0009

Raises the question how to give a ‘defence of art’ against Plato's criticisms, drawing on elements of modern philosophy of art. It is argued that modern thinking is unclear over the nature of art: in particular, as to whether we should grant it the kind of ethical value and cognitive seriousness that Plato faults it for not having, or whether we should defend art's autonomy on the grounds of its providing aesthetic value. Plato is clearer than much modern thinking as to what he requires from art, and because of this, can still prompt us to think profoundly about the nature and value of art.

Keywords:   aesthetic value, autonomy, ethical value, philosophy of art, Plato

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