Plato Vs. Aristotle on Art Essay example

Plato Vs. Aristotle on Art Essay example

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For over two thousand years, various philosophers have questioned the influence of art in our society. They have used abstract reasoning, human emotions, and logic to go beyond this world in the search for answers about arts' existence. For philosophers, art was not viewed for its own beauty, but rather for the question of how art and artists can help make our society more stable for the next generation. Plato, a Greek philosopher who lived during 420-348 B.C. in Athens, and Aristotle, Plato’s student who argued against his beliefs, have no exceptions to the steps they had to take in order to understand the purpose of art and artists. Though these two philosophers made marvelous discoveries about the existence of art, artists, and aesthetic experience, Plato has made his works more controversial than Aristotle.
During the ancient times in Greece, Plato was the first human to document and criticize the existence of art and artists. He mentioned that human art was always in a form of a representation of something else. In one of Plato’s famous works, he demonstrates the idea of art is like an “imitation of nature” (Blocker 3). In other words, the purpose of art was to represent nature and nothing else. Art was not created for the sake of its own self nor was it created to appreciate its own beauty by any means. Instead, art, usually in forms of writings, paintings, or sculptures, was created to only to represent nature, Gods, emperors, families, or other important individuals. Furthermore, Plato had a very critical view towards the existence art in our society because art makes us more emotional, and our emotions lead to many errors about life. He believed it is our rational thinking, not our emotions or senses, which helps us und...


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...ed knowledge beyond ordinary people’s understandings. However, in some ways Aristotle did a better job than Plato. As a result, his ideas will continue to exist in this world for the generations yet to come.






Works Cited

Blocker, H. Gene., and Jennifer M. Jeffers. Contextualizing Aesthetics: from Plato to Lyotard.
Belmont,CA: Wadsworth Pub., 1999. Print.
Jones, David. "ARISTOTLE'S AESTHETICS." Rowan University. Ulbery Press, 19 Apr. 2007.
Web. 17 Nov. 2011.
Havelock, Eric. Views of Republic. Standford: Brooke Spencer, Jan.-Feb. 2003. PDF.
Lingis, Alphonso. "Literary Reference Center - Powered by EBSCOhost." EBSCO Publishing
Service Selection Page. Routledge, 02 Feb. 2004. Web. 17 Nov. 2011.
Stecker, Robert. "The Journal of Aesthetic Education." Plato's Expression about Art 26.1 (1992):
1-122. Jstor. Ithaka, 7 June 1992. Web. 17 Nov. 2011.

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