Plato and the Philosophy of Art

Christopher Janaway

in Images of Excellence

Published in print February 1998 | ISBN: 9780198237921
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597800 | DOI:
 Plato and the Philosophy of Art

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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

Chapter.  9873 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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