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Vahlen (Hermeneutische Bemerkungen zu Aristoteles' Poetik ii. , pp. ) maintains that the inference drawn from the Arabic is doubtful, and he adds strong. File:La Poética de Aristóteles ().pdf. From Wikimedia Original file ( × 1, pixels, file size: MB, MIME type: application/pdf, pages). File:9 El Arte Poética de Aristóteles en irtrimuzcomcomp.gq Original file (1, × 1, pixels, file size: MB, MIME type: application/pdf,
Poetry does not teach us about anything precise. Its main goal is the contamination of the audience by some affective qualities that undermine commitment to the truth. One of the elements that hinder the truth is the need for the rhapsode to leave his real state of mind and enter the one caused by the fictitious situation of the poem he recites. Thus, to move his audience, the rhapsode needs to put himself into the state that corresponds to that of the fictitious reality he tries to depict for the audience.
This effort causes a discrepancy between his right mind and that of his audience and the mind the poetic text forces them to espouse.
Socrates asks Ion: "Are you not carried out of yourself, and does not your soul in ecstasy seem to be among the persons or places of which you are speaking? There is an additional complication to the integrity of the recitation. To ensure the success of his performance, the rhapsode may not lose control of the effect he produces: he needs to monitor consciously the responses of his audience for, otherwise, his pay might be affected if the outcome of his acting elicits the wrong emotions "I am obliged to give my very best attention to them; for if I make them cry I myself shall laugh, and if I make them laugh I myself shall cry when the time of payment arrives" [e].
These two facts showing that the performer is not consistently and lucidly committed to the truth he tries to express disqualify poetry and its performance as a valid epistemological tool that would eventually lead to the knowledge of the good.
Yet the main impediment to the truth is poets' and rhapsodes' inability to speak with authority about the chosen topics.
The question reveals that Ion cannot have the same knowledge as the men who exercise these professions for their livelihood. It cannot be judged according to some general criteria of excellence: its essence lies in the inspiration the poet receives and over which he has no rational control.
Goodness can be applied only to crafts that can be judged objectively. Does this mean, however, that there is no such thing as good or bad poetry? Poetry owes its goodness to inspiration, and this is what makes it suspicious.
The goodness of poetry appears to be in conflict with the truth. Poetry seduces without leading to knowledge by following rational principles.
Socrates' last question to Ion is sarcastic, "Which do you prefer to be thought, dishonest or inspired? If, on the other hand, Ion states that he is inspired, he will be honest, but knowing that rhapsody is an irrationally inspired activity puts him in conflict with the truth. Socrates forces Ion into a cul-de-sac from which he can exit only by rejecting his craft and resorting to some other activity founded on rational principles.
The Ion does not clearly condemn poetry as the Republic will, but warns against understanding poetry as cognitive. Poetry in the Republic: Images of Likeness It is in the Republic that Plato expresses his unequivocal condemnation of poetry as a false means of reaching the truth. The majority of Plato's contemporaries believed that poetry was an adequate learning tool cf. Janaway The Republic attacks this opinion by unveiling the possible damage caused by poetry particularly in the domain of education.
The interlocutors of the Republic, Socrates, Glaucon, Adeimantus, and Thrasymachus, attempt to define morality or justice.
The discussion begins by looking for reasons why human life is essentially linked to the life of a group.
Socrates comes up with the following answer: "a community starts to be formed, [ Thus, the need for specialization of tasks motivates human associations into groups that divide labor according to its members' natural predispositions.
The Principle of Specialization cf. Janaway 84 would benefit the community. The interlocutors agree that the specialization of labor in the community would lead to the invention of coinage and the market as the basic components of a trading system.
This new system would necessitate a means of ensuring fairness in commerce among the members of the community. Moreover, basic needs would soon be expanded to more superfluous ones such as "perfumes, prostitutes, and pastry" a. To preserve the community from disintegration, it would be necessary to establish a regulating system to keep excessive conduct outside the boundaries of the city.
The analogy of the dog as an intelligent animal with learning potential is made to explain the preservation of the polity. Dogs, Plato explains a-c , are creatures that love knowledge: they recognize and protect what they have learnt and are hostile at first to unfamiliar things.
Loving learning is identical to loving knowledge. This feature of dogs should serve as the criterion for the selection of human guardians who, as lovers of learning, will eventually acquire a philosopher's love of knowledge.
The interlocutors propose to breed a group of persons who would have the dog-like quality of learning and thus recognize familiar and unfamiliar things. Like dogs, they would be gentle with acquaintances and friends and fierce with strangers. These persons would be the guardians of the community's order: "Anyone who is going to be a truly good guardian of our community, then, will have a philosopher's love of knowledge, and will be passionate, quick on his feet, and strong" c.
Natural predispositions are not enough to ensure the fitness of the Guardians of the republic. Moral training is necessary so that they may acquire the capacity of right judgment. The discussion turns to the sources of moral education.
Plato then gives an overview of what is available for his contemporaries to implement in an educational program. Hesiod and Homer become the targets of Plato's critical examination of the material to be used in education.
It is chiefly the portrayal of gods in Greek poetry that Plato vehemently rejects. In their depiction of the Greek Pantheon, Hesiod and Homer have no concern, he thinks, for the effect their representation might have on young people.
They fabricate images which contradict justice and goodness. Hesiod, for example, depicts Cronos castrating his father Ouranos, and then swallowing his own children, except Zeus by whom he will be defeated.
Homer's gods are no better: they cheat each other, plot against each other, and betray each other.
According to the Principle of Specialization the Guardians have only one role in the city and that role would be to preserve the moral integrity of the citizens. If, therefore, their moral education were based on the examples offered by poetry, the whole city would eventually be endangered. In fact, Plato puts forward some rules for the representation of God.
If God were to be represented, he must be shown as he is expected to be. The main feature of God is goodness "God must always be described as he really is. Plato does not really argue about his view of divinity; he presents it as a given cf. Else In the section of the Republic dedicated to the formation of the Guardians, Plato pursues his criticism of Homer's descriptions of deity.
He disagrees with the fully anthropomorphic depiction of gods that shows them playing with the destiny of the humans. Zeus, for example, is said to be portrayed mixing the content of two jars containing good and evil, respectively, and then randomly distributing them to the humans d. Gods or demigods should not be depicted in ridiculous postures "lamenting and saying things like, Oh poor me! How wretched I am to have borne the noblest of children!
He proposes for this stage of the Guardians' formation a prescriptive paradigm of human behavior cf. Art and poetry can be of use for pedagogical purposes, but they need to restrict the representation to moral appropriateness. Having God's goodness in mind, poets should put forward examples of goodness that are worth emulating. In the second half of the book on education Plato gives an overview of the forms of art acceptable for pedagogical goals.
Plato points out that the young Guardians' learning of poetry will be mimetic in nature. The pupils will enact poetic models in studying them.
Yet this fact will require some restrictions following what Christopher Janaway calls the Principle of Assimilation cf. This means that actors will come to resemble what they enact.
We should also remember here the Principle of Specialization, according to which one role of expertise is performed best by one who has no other role in the city. Mimesis of another role would contradict the Principle of Specialization, leading to a multiplicity that would eventually undermine the moral equilibrium of the body politic.
For the moment, Plato does not dismiss mimesis, but warns that the young Guardians should only imitate the traits they are expected to display in their role of Guardians, that is, bravery, self-control, and pietas.
The possible contradiction, however, between the Principles of Specialization and Assimilation sets the ground for the future expulsion of mimetic poetry from the republic. Subsequently, Plato discusses the appropriateness of musical modes in connection with poetry. He stresses the relationship between the soul and the speech, rhythm, and harmony produced by artistic expressions.
Because of this relationship, the soul can be habituated to harmony and order and thus rise in its goodness. The opposite is also possible, and this is why the state should oversee the proper selection of music to foster the traits of character expected in a Guardian.
At this point of the Republic, Plato has reached a certain compromise among arts as a means of teaching about the good. As Iris Murdoch has suggested, the good consists in a virtuous ascent toward its perfect form.
It requires a progressive denial of self until its death at the moment of the encounter. Can art assume such a role, can it teach selflessness? Contemporary poetry and art have failed to fulfill this task: Plato provides abundant evidence of this failure in the example of the celebrated Homer.
Poetic practice has not observed the Principle of Specialization successfully. Dissatisfied with learning from poetry, Plato undertakes his own attempt to convey the essence of the good.
Paradoxically, it is a poetic attempt through a series of allegorical images. In the Republic, some of Plato's most famous images are the sun representing the Form of the Good, the eye standing for intelligence, and sight pointing to knowledge cb. The allegory of the cave ac illustrates the state of slavery of all human beings from which only philosophy can free them. By resorting to an indirect mode of representation, that is, metaphor, he is able to suggest the difficulty in attaining the good and its elusiveness.
He does not intend to imitate anything, but to point in the right direction. Allegory is a more modest vehicle, which can be contrasted with the pretension of direct mimesis to represent the truth. In the final section of the Republic Book 10 , Plato comes back to the topic of poetry and art and reevaluates his judgment from the section on the education of the Guardians.
This time his conclusion will be less conciliatory: he will propose the exclusion of the poets from the republic.
He starts his argument by suggesting that mimetic art is not much more than a mirror reflection "The quickest method [ You'll soon be creating everything [ Then he proceeds to analyze the image of a bed.
The painter of a bed represents the image of an object which itself is an image, a "shadow" of the form which is the original. Thus the product of the painter's work is the image of a likeness cf. Therefore, the image of the likeness is separated in multiple ways from the reality of the original form. Art tries to apprehend the reality of a form through the senses, and, for this reason, its endeavor is doomed to failure.
The realm of forms can only be approached through the intellect. The senses are unable to penetrate that far. Having used the example of painting, Plato proceeds to question mimetic poetry and its cognitive and epistemological value. Here again Homer is the prime target: Plato attacks the belief that Homer's poetry might have any educational benefits leading to knowledge "Well, does history record that there was any war fought in Homer's time whose success depended on his leadership or advice?
Plato demonstrates that Homer in public and private life had no effect on social or political life. His activity remained on the surface of things, imitating various aspects of life but in no way having any particular knowledge that could be qualified as genuine. The negative evaluation of Homer's contribution to civic life leads to a generalized rejection of mimetic art: So shall we classify all poets, from Homer onwards, as representers of images of goodness and of everything else which occurs in their poetry , and claim that they don't have any contact with the truth?
The facts are as we said a short while ago: a painter creates an illusory shoemaker, when not only does he not understand anything about shoemaking, but his audience doesn't either. They just base their conclusions on the colours and shapes they can see.
Plato says that that there are two ways of being an expert: one is through manufacturing an object, the second, through the use of this object.
The manufacturer and the user of the given object complement each other's knowledge and thus can perfect the object itself and its usage.
The question now is how the mimetic artist relates to the expertise of the user and manufacturer. The answer is rather straightforward: he is not an expert in either. If he is not an expert, what then is his motivation in continuing to represent things without knowing their good or bad features?
Plato argues that mimetic artists are driven by the prospect of gratifying the irrational side of their audience and their own as well. Audiences are usually composed of a large and ignorant "motley crowd" that uncritically absorbs the untruth offered to them.
Poetry and art thus create a consensus based on mutual ignorance that delight senses and dulls the rational part of the souls "He destroys the rational part by feeding and fattening up this other part" [b].
There is nothing that would justify the presence of mimetic artists in the republic: "If you admit the entertaining Muse of lyric and epic poetry, then instead of law and the shared acceptance of reason as the best guide, the kings of your community will be pleasure and pain" a. To reach the state of goodness, we need to sacrifice the pleasure demanded by the senses in order to ascend, which is the intellectual fulfillment of knowing. In this section of the study we have attempted to demonstrate Plato's concerns with poetry and art.
The dialogue Ion raises the question of art and poetry as technai. Socrates shows to Ion, a rhapsode, that he performs under inspiration poems that have been composed under inspiration as well. This activity is deprived of the rational basis that would foster its betterment, leading to the intellectual contemplation of the form of the good. In the later work, the Republic, Plato expands his scrutiny of the arts and concludes that art should be eliminated altogether from the ideal community.
Art and poetry teach wrong things about gods by ridiculing them. By attempting mimesis, art is at two removes from reality: it imitates the models that are themselves mere copies of real things.
Finally, poetry impedes the intellectual ascetic effort of searching for the truth by awakening passions and emotions within the performers and the audiences as well. We must recall that one of Plato's key arguments against poetry and the visual arts is the fact that the objects of mimesis are not real.
Artists imitate on the basis of their sensory perception, yet the senses cannot go beyond the material world which is a mere copy of reality.
Aristotle attacks this view and confers on art the status of a branch of philosophy.
To understand the importance of art for Aristotle, we need to grasp his notion of the good, which art is meant to imitate. In Physics, Aristotle argues that phainomena or appearances, which we apprehend through sensory perception, are our only basis for the cognitive investigation of reality.
As Martha C. Nussbaum has argued, Aristotle's method is limited to the data of human experience and conforms itself to the limits of this anthropocentric point of view, as opposed to Plato's "god's eye" perspective cf. This perspective raises the question of the relationship between data and its subsequent analysis.
Data is gathered from the natural world and then analyzed by individuals from the same linguistic communities. The experience of the phainomena might result in different conclusions. If this occurs, in his Metaphysics Aristotle advocates reaching a consensus by following the Principle of Non-Contradiction. The desire to understand the world is fulfilled when we reach consistency in our view about its nature. Aristotle warns, however, against any forced application of logical principles to appearances.
Our conclusion of consistency must always be checked back in its relationship to the appearance to avoid any forceful imposition of theory upon it cf. Nussbaum If we theorize without returning to the appearances, we run the risk of oversimplification.
A Platonist would like philosophy to lead one beyond the ordinariness of existence; an Aristotelian, on the other hand, aspires to grasp the general principles that will eventually unveil the underlying order of the universe in its variety. First, the hero must be 'good,' and thus manifest moral purpose in his speech.
Second, the hero must have propriety, or 'manly valor. Tragedy and Epic poetry fall into the same categories: simple, complex driven by reversal and recognition , ethical moral or pathetic passion. There are a few differences between tragedy and epic, however. First, an epic poem does not use song or spectacle to achieve its cathartic effect.
Second, epics often cannot be presented at a single sitting, whereas tragedies are usually able to be seen in a single viewing. Finally, the 'heroic measure' of epic poetry is hexameter, where tragedy often uses other forms of meter to achieve the rhythms of different characters' speech.
Aristotle also lays out the elements of successful imitation. The poet must imitate either things as they are, things as they are thought to be, or things as they ought to be. The poet must also imitate in action and language preferably metaphors or contemporary words. Structured data Captions English Add a one-line explanation of what this file represents. Retrieved from " https: Hidden categories: Namespaces File Discussion. Views View Edit History.
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