The Fine and the Beautiful

Christopher Janaway

in Images of Excellence

Published in print February 1998 | ISBN: 9780198237921
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597800 | DOI:
 The Fine and the Beautiful

Show Summary Details


Considers the role Plato assigns to beauty, and whether for him beauty is connected with what we now call ‘aesthetic pleasure’. The Greek kalon, often translated as ‘beautiful’, can also be rendered as ‘fine’, and applies to a kind of value that is not exclusively aesthetic. A discussion of the dialogue Hippias Major reveals many of the connotations of kalon. Also looks at Plato's most famous treatment of the topic in Socrates’ speech in the Symposium. The high value Plato assigns to beauty should not be taken, however, to single out aesthetic value, nor should it be thought that he regards art as any specially privileged source of beauty.

Keywords: aesthetic pleasure; aesthetic value; beauty; Hippias Major; kalon; Plato; Socrates; Symposium

Chapter.  10885 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.