The Criticism Of Clothes And The Philosophers ' Fear Of Fashion '

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Criticisms of Clothes
Clothing has been heavily criticized by many, and in particular, philosophers. In Karen Hanson’s piece “Dressing Down Dressing Up--The Philosophers Fear of Fashion”, the author notes that there has been a long standing tradition of what she refers to as a philosophic hostility toward fashionable dress (1990, p. 107). Socrates was critical of how clothing resulted in a desire for things in the physical realm (Hanson 1990, p. 114). As told by Plato, Socrates believed that concern for clothes and other bodily ornaments filled people with nonsense and distracted them from the activity of thinking (Hanson 1990, p. 114; Seery 1996, p. 53). On the topic of fashionable dress, Immanuel Kant wrote that it was “not properly a matter of taste, but a matter of mere vanity in order to appear distinguished, and a matter of competition in order to surpass others in it” (Kant 2006, p. 143). He defined fashionable dress under the title of vanity because he believed there was no inner worth in its intentions and thought that the people who “slavishly” followed fashion were foolish (Kant 2006, pp. 142-143). Thorstein Veblen was critical of the pointlessness of fashionable clothing (Wilson 2011, p. 330). In The Theory of the Leisure Class, Veblen wrote that clothing was a way to identify differences between social class, advertise a person’s wealth and position in society, and to reinforce the prestige of the upper-class (English 2013, p. 212). He felt that trying to
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