Plato Vs Greek

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Q: Compare and contrast Plato’s views on imitative art in Republic Book X with his views on Eros and artistic creativity in the selection read from the Symposium? While there appear to be great differences between Plato’s criticism of imitative art in Book X of the Republic and his account of artistic creativity in the Symposium, I believe that most of these can be reconciled by a careful attention to the theory of Forms and the distinct purposes of the two works.

In Book X of the Republic, Plato infamously banishes the tragic poets from his ideal city as a threat to justice and order. Here it is helpful to know something about Plato’s theory of Forms. For Plato, the world of appearances is deceptive. The material objects we come to know
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Socrates speaks just after Agathon, who heaped lavish praise on Love for his youth and beauty. He begins by cross-examining the young Sophist and drawing out the faults in his speech. Love, Socrates forces Agathon to admit, is always love of something, in the same way that a father is always the father of someone. Love desires what is beautiful and good, and we always desire that which we do not possess. Love, therefore, must be neither good nor beautiful in…show more content…
Plotinus’ account in On Beauty is nearly identical to plato’s, except that it is predicated on a monist rather than a dualist ontology. According to Plotinus the world consists in a single principle, the One, of which lower species of being are merely gradations. While Plotinus recognized the One in Plato’s Form of the Good, he denied that such a form was transcendent. The objects of the world are emanations of the One and not distinct instantiations. Just as as light is refracted into a rainbow of lesser constituents by passing it through a prism, the One is refracted into lesser lights as one descends into the material world. The first emanation of the One is Intellect, which contains Platonic Forms such as Beauty. When we see “beautiful” objects our souls recognize the form of Beauty, which is a higher emanation of the One, and there is a resonance between the beauty within ourselves and the beauty without. In a manner similar to Plato, Plotinus traces a hierarchy of beauty from material objects (e.g. faces) to the form of beauty itself to ultimate source of the
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