① Cultural Ethos In Platos Phaedrus

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Cultural Ethos In Platos Phaedrus

Casson, op. Several theories are developed, but throughout Essay On Economic Inequality And Poverty dialogue Socrates counters Cultural Ethos In Platos Phaedrus own arguments in order to achieve further understanding of his inquiry. This referencing system includes the following information: the title, the number of a book and chapter, a Cultural Ethos In Platos Phaedrus number to point out the cited part of the text. The recognition of the affinity or kinship sungeneia there is Cultural Ethos In Platos Phaedrus men and gods leads Cultural Ethos In Platos Phaedrus to honour the My Sisters Keeper Challenges and to admit their Cultural Ethos In Platos Phaedrus, but also to exclude that they can be the cause Examples Of Hope In Night By Elie Wiesel bad things cf. Further, what is Cultural Ethos In Platos Phaedrus of human techne is also Cultural Ethos In Platos Phaedrus to be true of divine Cultural Ethos In Platos Phaedruswhich Cultural Ethos In Platos Phaedrus treated as parallel to it for instance in Sophistb ff. I have slightly altered Waterhouse's Cultural Ethos In Platos Phaedrus here, referring to "parts" rather than "aspects" Cultural Ethos In Platos Phaedrus difference between english and british soul, for reasons hinted at in note 8 below. The solution calls for a distinct form, in which the particular instances, which are not identical to the form, participate; i.

Plato’s Allegory of the Cave - Alex Gendler

Among some of Plato 's most prevalent works is his dialogue the Symposium, which records the conversation of a dinner party at which Socrates amongst others is a guest. Those who talk before Socrates share a tendency to celebrate the instinct of sex and regard love eros as a god whose goodness. Those who talk before Socrates share a tendency to celebrate the instinct of sex and regard love eros as a god whose goodness and beauty they compete Naugle, However, Socrates sets himself apart from this belief in the fundamental value of sexual love and instead recollects Diotima 's theory of love, suggesting that love is neither. Plato was born into a high class family in Greece and therefore was very active in the Athenian community since he was from a high status family.

He was the founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. He is known to be one of the best writers. In this philosophical dialogue, Socrates and his peers debate potential theories concerning the reasons why people become friends with one another. Several theories are developed, but throughout the dialogue Socrates counters his own arguments in order to achieve further understanding of his inquiry.

Plato was a standout amongst the most innovative and persuasive masterminds in Western philosophy, his impact all through the historical backdrop of philosophy has been monumental. Born around B. C, he researched an extensive variety of topics; however, his Theory of Forms, found in The Republic, is an essential piece of Plato 's philosophy. This is the center thought behind Plato 's theory of forms, from this thought he moves towards clarifying his universe of forms or ideas.

While trying to. Jeanelle Moncrieffe Dr. Socrates confronts Euthyphro when he argues "The point which I should first wish to understand is whether the pious or holy is blocked by the gods because it is holy, or because it is blocked by the gods" cf. This refers back to the Devine Command Theory and civil religion. Civil Religion is defined as a mixture between religion and cultural. Plato versus Aristotle Plato and Aristotle, two philosophers in the 4th century, hold polar views on politics and philosophy in general. This fact is very cleverly illustrated by Raphael 's "School of Athens" ; Stanza della Segnatura, Vatican , where Plato is portrayed looking up to the higher forms; and Aristotle is pointing down because he supports the natural sciences.

In a discussion of politics, the stand point of each philosopher becomes an essential factor. It is not coincidental that. Plato wrote nearly 30 dialogues, most of which focused on his predecessor, Socrates. In book V Plato argues that in the discussion which is conducted in this work the concern is with a model paradeigma of justice to be realized both in the single man and in the city, but that this model is not to be regarded as defective if it is not realized at least, not fully. In two other, similar, passages i. VI, c-d and ec he says that philosophers, when ruling, must each, like a painter, have a model before him and, on that basis, draw the most beautiful painting.

A suggestion as to what these passages may adumbrate will be given below ch. It can be added, for the moment, that the view that painters did not have to stick to existing models, such as existing persons, must have had some circulation. The restrictions then allow for some flexibility, but this does not mean that they have no application at all. Poetics, ch. This is an artificial construct, for it is not clear how imitation in the sense of reproduction like that done with painting, which he also uses as the paradigm can be of something that is not given or available.

He should rather have said that the muthos is just a fiction, a product of the imagination. It can be suggested that he did not do so because he wanted to preserve a relationship, however indirect, with reality, for what is possible is judged as such with a view to what is real. But how does this parallel work? Plato occasionally talks as if the soul or some part of it could be imitated by the poet e.

Yet we have seen that painting can only reproduce what is external, the appearance of the visible thing. And it does not really seem that even poetry, at least in the case of drama, gives a direct representation of the soul and of its condition, for, as Plato himself says, the imitation is of men who act cf. Thus the imitation of what happens in the soul must take place in an indirect way. There are two, complementary, passages, by Xenophon and Aristotle, in which this view is propounded.

Aristotle has clearly in mind the same situation when he discusses the possibility of imitation of character beyond the domain of music, where in his view this is possible for this doctrine see below, ch. That he has in mind painting and also sculpture as reproducing such signs results from what follows, where he refers to Polygnotos. This mimesis , when applied to persons who act or do something, is always understood as a becoming like someone else. Thus of the guardians it is said that they should not make themselves like or assimilate themselves to : aphomoioun autous in words and in deeds to madmen cf. More generally, it is said of the man of orderly life metrios aner that, when, in narrating, he comes across some saying lexin or acting of a good man, he is willing to announce himself as if he were himself that man hos autos on eikeinos and will not be ashamed of this imitation, especially if it is a matter of imitating the good man when he is acting firmly and wisely, etc.

On the other hand, when he comes to someone who is unworthy of him, he will not seriously make himself like apeikazein heauton his inferior, etc. And this is how it tends to be presented in this same part of Republic III. In b Plato talks of imitations mimemata of actions which are similar to them or their copies aphoiomata , saying it is difficult to perform the actions well when one is good at doing the imitations.

Several of the examples he gives, including that of the imitation of natural noises such as those of thunder, wind, or certain animals cf. Plato himself does not explicitly talk of actions, and adopts a distinction between acting [ prattein ] and imitating [ mimeisthai ], evidently because he does not wish to put them on the same level, but manifestly the imitations are themselves actions, and actions similar to those of which they are the imitations. This impression is confirmed by the treatment of imitative arts in the Sophist. There they are all treated as productive arts, in that they produce images eidola. It is added I simplify a bit that these images can be produced either by means of instruments or by using oneself i. In the second case it happens for instance that somebody uses his voice to make it like prosomoion , i.

There is the idea that, for instance in dancing, one traces, as it were, figures in the air, so that certain patterns schemata are produced cf. Laws II, c and context, and e , this production thus not being essentially different from the drawing of lines by a painter the same word schema can also be used in this connection. Painting can serve as a good illustration for all these cases since the most obvious and typical way of producing an image is precisely to produce a picture, especially a portrait. This is just what Plato suggests in Republic IV, d. But this is an implication of imitation, not imitation itself, while scholars tend to reduce imitation to emulation and identification. Notice that the imitation concerns the lexis , b2, thus the way of talking and of behaving of a person, i.

VI, b-c. It is more plausible to suggest that he gives priority to the second and that he is not completely aware of the fact that the first cannot be wholly assimilated to the second. His explicit paradigm is that of painting, and any interpretation that is given of his position must take this as the starting-point. But, used in connection with painting, the most obvious sense of mimesis , as understood by him, is the traditional one of imitation, with the restrictions that this involves.

This conclusion however should not lead us to think that, when he discusses what imitations should be performed by the guardians as part of their paideia , he has in mind the same type of situation which is considered in book X, when submitting to scrutiny the imitations performed by the poets. The distance between these two treatments becomes more evident through criticism of a different approach that has been adopted by some scholars in recent times. The advantage of adopting this interpretation is that one can admit that his concern with mimesis is the same in book III and in book X of the Republic , i.

But what the painter does serves as a paradigm in the treatment of poetry in Republic X, so that the poet cannot be condemned either for his supposed versatile imitation. It is likely, given the importance that Plato attributes to choral dance in paideia , that he is thinking primarily of what is done in practising it. For the importance attributed to choral dance cf. Dancing, both because of its connection with music and in itself, is regarded as an imitative practice in the Laws cf.

II, d , but this cannot be what is at issue in the question of e, for it must concern what type of dancing should be practised and not whether dancing should be practised at all. For instance dances of war involve the imitation of the movements and gestures of soldiers, such as those of throwing a javelin or of striking an enemy cf. Laws VII, d ff. It is certainly excluded that one imitates an individual who performs a banausic work, thus as belonging to a certain class, but still the question concerns the imitation of an individual.

The reply to this sort of question is that it would be better not to imitate anybody, but if imitation cannot be avoided, this imitation should be restricted to positive models, constituted by people who are brave, moderate, pious, and so forth cf. The passage, thus rendered ad sensum , shows some suspicion towards all such imitation a fact that tends to be overlooked by those who adopt the interpretation I am criticizing. Presumably Plato sees a danger in imitating a hero like Achilles even if he can be taken as a positive hero , because one may assimilate oneself to a character which is not quite congruent with the character one possesses by nature, with as a result an internal contrast, while one should first of all be oneself.

Certainly, by following this line, dance, which is regarded as imitative, would have to be avoided altogether, and this is not the position he wants to adopt. So in the end the argument serves to exclude variety in imitation, by restricting it to good characters, but not without some ambiguity, which leads to the expression of a reservation even about this type of imitation. The first is that here a distinction is introduced between imitating individuals of good character and imitating individuals of bad character, while this distinction is not relevant to the treatment in book X, where the parallel of poetry with painting is general and not restricted to the imitation of certain objects somehow corresponding to the individuals of bad character.

The second is that the question whether the guardians should be imitative is a question concerning what happens to their own souls in performing certain activities if they imitate good characters they will become better people, if they imitate bad characters they will become worse people. It is true that in book III the poet tends to be discredited for his imitating in an indiscriminate way, but he is discredited in the eyes of other people, while his own spiritual condition is not an issue.

The situations envisaged are then profoundly different. I, ch. However, in so far as these activities also involve some skill, one may call them arts in a looser sense of the word. In this way it becomes possible to give them a collocation inside the system of the arts as a whole. This collocation is not given them by Plato in a direct and explicit way. But, as we have seen above last chapter , a collocation is given to them as a species of the productive arts, in that they also produce something, not a real thing e. Once they are collocated in this way, their collocation in the system of the arts will depend on the collocation of the productive arts as a whole.

There is no space for discussing all the evidence in detail. It may be enough to point out that in Gorgias , ca, he admits a subdivision of all the arts in those which have to do with the body and those which have to do with the soul, with a general subordination of the former to the latter. Inside the arts which have to do with the body a hierarchy is prospected according to which medicine is at the vertex, and this must imply an analogous hierarchy in the case of the arts which have to do with the soul, with politics at the vertex as can be inferred from other passages of the dialogue. That politics is at the vertex of the hierarchy of all the arts is in any case suggested with sufficient explicitness in some passages of the Politicus e.

A general subordination of all the other arts, which explicitly include those which are productive exemplified by the making of musical instruments like lyres , to those which ensure the competence in the use clearly the use of the products of the former , is asserted in Euthydemus , bd, and there too it is suggested that, among the arts of use, there is a dominating one, which is politics cf. Thus, by adopting this conception, Plato offers a legitimization of his attitude towards the poets and other artists and towards their products in those works, like the Republic and the Laws , in which the collocation of the former inside the well-governed community is explicitly raised and in which all their activity if they are admitted is supposed to require supervision direct or indirect by the rulers.

Even Aristotle, as we have seen above ch. Plato, in asking the question whether poets and other artists should be admitted to the well-governed city, goes beyond this, for he does not take for granted as Aristotle seems to do that, once education of young people is taken care of, they cannot do great harm, for adults with a proper education will be able to make their choices, avoiding bad influences, while the remaining people cannot be made much worse than they already are and this negative influence may be offset by the fears that are induced in them by the traditional mythology which is expounded by the poets.

According to this classification there are three main types of art, 1 those of use, 2 those of making or producing, 3 those of imitating cf. It can be seen that, on this classification, the imitative arts are not treated as a species besides others of productive arts but as a wholly distinct group. In any case he has in mind some sort of hierarchy of the arts, for he suggests that the person who possesses an art of use is in a condition to give instructions to the producer of the artefact that he produces, since he has knowledge of how to use that product.

Before commenting on this passage, I shall complete this account. It would seem that Plato is making a double assumption, namely that use always requires some art at least in order to be exercised in a satisfactory way and that this art has a directive function as well. Aristotle, it may be pointed out, did not share the first assumption at least, for he remarks that, for instance, the normal user of a house is its inhabitant and this is not the possessor of some art cf.

Politics III 11, a Plato goes on to suggest that the imitator finds himself in a worse condition than the producer, for not only does he not have any direct knowledge of the use of what he has imitated e. He in fact does nothing but imitate what is produced by e. And, as a picture, it will have to be evaluated in a different way. In other contexts as we shall see in ch. Further, by treating the imitative arts as a sort of play, Plato seems to be admitting that their products do not possess any use or any instrumentality in view of something good. Finally, by treating the imitative arts in this way, he does not show that they are subordinate to those arts of use which are also directive, one reason for subordinating them to politics thus being no longer valid.

The argument is presented as parallel to the former, since it also leads to the conclusion that imitation is concerned with what is at the third remove from truth cf. There need not be a contradiction between the two, as some interpreters suppose, for the fact that according to the first argument the artisan or producer refers to the idea as his paradigm, while according the second he does not refer to it but follows the instructions of the user, since these instructions concern making the artefact most useful for its purpose, not the shape or constitution the artefact possesses. Otherwise nothing suggests that Plato did not take the argument seriously.

Less attention has been given to the fact that, when Plato presents as he often does, as we have seen above, Part I, ch. This notion of mimesis is introduced in a sufficiently explicit way in Republic III, a, talking about rhythms. There these are said to be imitations mimemata each of a certain sort of life bios. Later, in a passage mentioned below, there is the suggestion that in them are identifiable images [ eikones ] of certain virtues and their contraries.

From what follows, where an appeal to Damon is made, it would seem that they are imitations of certain sorts of life, or, more restrictively, of certain behaviours, because these are the expressions of certain characters held by persons. There are rhythms that are appropriate for meanness, or insolence, or fury, and there are rhythms that are appropriate for the contrary conditions evidently : of the soul. Of one of these rhythms it is said that it is heroic cf. It would also seem there is a continuity between this account of rhythms and that given immediately earlier of harmonies, for one account follows the other except for a reference to instruments , and the examples given are rather similar cf.

It is difficult to suppose that music is regarded as imitative for the rhythms, but not for the harmonies it uses. Of some of these harmonies it is said they are expressive of sorrow, of some others that they are soft and convivial, of still others that they are stern and austere, being proper for warlike actions and so forth, etc. There is a clear relationship between these harmonies and these rhythms and certain traits of character.

This point comes back in Laws II, d-e, where, in censuring the use of musical instruments to make music without words, he suggests that of the rhythms and harmonies that are produced in this way it is difficult to say what they are the imitations of and if their models are worth imitating. These models, as is sufficiently clear from the context, are always certain traits of character of persons or their attitudes to life. In book II, c ff.

It is also said explicitly that they involve imitations of ways scil. In the case of rhythms and harmonies some relation between them and the characters and dispositions of persons is suggested in a subsequent passage i. It is suggested in fact that in music one can identify images [ eikones ] of virtues like moderation, courage and liberality and their contraries cf.

Republic IV, c, also b. But these virtues and their contraries find their expression for instance in the utterances of the brave man engaged in warfare or in those of the moderate one in other circumstances cf. It is for these utterances that rhythms and harmonies will have to be appropriate. In this last passage of the Republic Plato goes beyond what he says in the passages mentioned above, viz. Similar examples, but this time in describing a situation of discordance, are used in Laws II, b5 ff. He differs from Plato in that he does not require any more that rhythms and harmonies be regarded as imitating traits of character only if they follow speech, though he is not explicit on this point in the passage of the Politics.

He also declares that a resemblance homoioma to characters is not to be found at all in the field of the other senses, with a partial exception of the objects of sight, that is to say of paintings, for with them figures and colours are signs of conditions in the soul the passage is a and was quoted above, ch. The present case is however kept distinct from that of paintings, for it is in the tunes themselves that the imitations of characters are present cf. As a confirmation of this peculiarity of music he points out that the reactions by the listeners are, appropriately, mournful to mournful melodies, relaxed to relaxed harmonies, calm to those inspiring calm, etc. The trouble with this argument is that it is rather manifestly circular.

It works on the assumption that, if these melodies etc. It can be seen that there is a stress on the peculiarity of the sounds of music, which, in being perceived as in movement, distinguishes them from colours and so forth, but that their capacity to somehow carry moral character is rather asserted than proved. In any case there is a consciousness of the fact that the account of mimesis as imitation, when this is given on the model of painting, cannot work in the case of music.

Where the correspondence lies is not clear in the other Platonic passages or in Aristotle. And it would seem that imitation mimesis , being based on a sungeneia , can go in both senses : it is not merely music that imitates the harmonies and rhythms in the soul, but there can be the opposite imitation which explains the formative effect of music : the movements in the soul adapt themselves, by imitation, to the movements of music. If this is so, there is clearly a significant difference between this mimesis and that realized by painting, which is a one-way mimesis , given the ontologically dependent status of images.

This is stated there by recalling what he had said a few lines earlier i. Because of this point of identity, one can say that what is involved is not just an imitation that goes in one sense but an affinity sungeneia that goes in both senses. This suggestion, certainly, comes from the passage of the Timaeus , and Plato does not recognize any absolute difference between the two types of imitation, but makes them consist in the reproduction of an original. Further, as we have seen, he talks of images eikones of virtue that are present in music, and this shows that the paradigm of painting is not wholly abandoned.

It has thus to be concluded that the peculiarity of the mimesis in music receives only a partial recognition on his part. Probably mixture is supposed to contribute to consonance, in any case that the beauty which music presents and the pleasure it procures depends on these aspects. There are thus two dimensions of music, one which has to do with character and the other which has not, but which both possess aesthetic significance.

Plato must have been aware of this fact, for, as we have already seen, in Republic IV, in a context in which he talks of music, he is induced to point out that certain qualities, such as gracefulness and gracelessness, are also to be found in the products of painting, of architecture, of weaving, and so forth cf. In the case of these disciplines in fact certain formal qualities of beauty, such as symmetry, which have not to do with character, play an important role as we shall see below, ch. It has to be admitted, however, that in the passage I am considering Plato is not relying on any such neat distinction, for he is willing to talk of moral traits, such as the negative ones of evil disposition and illiberality, and of images of evil eikones kakias also in the case of the products of those other arts.

Harmony, having motions akin sungeneis to the revolutions of the soul within us, has been given by the Muses to him whose dealings with them is guided by intelligence, not for irrational pleasure hedone alogos , which appears now to be its utility, but as an ally against the disharmony that has come into the revolution of the soul, to bring it into order and consonance sumphonia with itself.

Rhythm, again, was given us from the same entities as a help to the same intent, for in most of us our condition is lacking in measure and poor in grace. The parallel he draws here with sight lies in the fact that the observation of the ordered revolutions in the heavens, which are a manifestation of cosmic intelligence, is of help in bringing order in the motions of thought inside us cf. The idea that there are revolutions in the souls that are similar to those of the celestial bodies was introduced in a former part of the dialogue. It implies that the same harmony is present in the heavens and in our soul, when this reproduces in itself, by imitation mimoumenoi , 47c3 , the order of the heavens.

The same suggestion, in the simplified form that there is an imitation [ mimesis ] of the divine harmony in mortal movements, comes back in 80b. Music is thus seen as an expression of this cosmic attunement and concord. This position is close to Pythagoreanism and goes beyond the idea that harmonies and rhythms are imitations of movements in our soul. The Pythagoreans notoriously asserted that there is a celestial music - what will be called, anachronistically, the music of the spheres - that is inaudible to most men. Timaeus , 35b ff. This is seen as the aim that is to be pursued by humanly made music.

As to education, this must be meant to realize this sort of accord. Paideia is not mentioned in the Timaeus in this connection, but later on, in considering vice as ignorance resulting from lack of paideia , cfr. Gymnastics, music and philosophy are clearly taken as parts of paideia in 88c and said to contribute to a condition of harmony and proportion or equilibrium between body and soul.

This point leads to the question whether or not, by using painting as a parallel for poetry, as a paradigm for better understanding how it works, he is making the assumption that they are mimetic in the same sense. It is more likely that he is aware of the fact that the parallel cannot be complete, for he abandons it at some stage of the discussion of Republic book X.

But where does the difference lie? Or is there more than one difference? Plato never discusses this matter in an explicit way, but some indications can be obtained by the hints he gives. This must imply that painting does not give rise to the same sort of emotional involvement in the observers. It would seem that here the same distinction is operative which Aristotle explicitly makes between music and painting, precisely by excluding that the latter has the same effect on the emotions of the observers or hearers as the former has. The request in the case of that city is that it be seen in conflict with other cities, so as to verify the results obtained by the education given to its citizens.

This request is satisfied in the story muthos which is told in the incomplete Critias. Since also poets tell stories, the implication is that they can show, in telling a story, certain things in movement, while their representation in a painting would deprive them of movement. It is true that in what follows in the Timaeus a limitation of the poets is pointed out 19 , but this limitation concerns their formation and has nothing to do with the distinction now drawn between representing something in movement and representing something in stasis.

A similar passage is to be found in the Politicus , where it is asserted that it is more fitting mallon prepei to show a living being by means of speech lexis and logos than by means of a painting or any other handicraft cf. In this passage the reason for this superiority of speech over painting is not explained, but it seems natural to suppose that it has to do with the fact that what is represented is a living being, thus something that should be shown in movement.

This susceptibility of more than one interpretation is not usually presented by Plato in a favourable light, thus is not treated, like the two characteristics now considered, as an element of superiority, but still it is an element of difference. One passage in which this comes out is Protagoras , e, where Socrates is made to assert that, when the object of discussion is a poem, some people claim that the poet means to say this one thing and other people claim that the poet means to say some other thing, with the outcome that the lack of agreement is adduced as one reason for avoiding this sort of discussion the previous discussion between Socrates and Protagoras illustrates such a divergence in interpretation.

From the Ion one gathers that a poet like Homer is a need of a rhapsode as an interpreter of what he says. On the other hand, in the case of paintings or sculptures the only possibility that is contemplated is that of judging whether they are good or bad cf. Ion , ea ; also Laws II, c-e. Nowhere is it suggested that a painting or a sculpture is open to more than one interpretation. From this point of view, however, the consequence must be that the images which poetry offers are not simple imitations of some reality but imply models that lead us to look at reality in a certain way.

For instance the images that are given of the gods by the poets imply models that induce those who give a hearing to what the poets say to attribute certain characteristics to them. And this is a reason why the activity of the poets must be submitted to a stricter political control than that of other artists. It offers a justification for the admission of the unity of music in the narrow sense and of poetry under the heading of music in the wide sense , or for the admission valid for Plato even if not for Aristotle that poetry in the sense of literature should not be disjoined from music. It also helps to explain the importance that is attributed to music in education, in view of the formation of the character of young people.

XIII M 3, a31 ff. It is therefore mistaken, he argues more explicitly in III B 2, a21 ff. This point has application to a tragedy, in a way which will be clarified below. A similar statement is to be found in Politics VII 4, a33 ff. This is there applied to the size of the polis and the multitude of its inhabitants. But the point is there associated with the idea of the order taxis which the city realizes through its laws cf. Symmetry or proportion is clearly taken as a criterion of beauty also in the passages of Politics III 11, III 13, and V 3, which were considered above ch. It can be added that, in Topics III 1, still using the example of an animal, Aristotle presents its beauty as residing in the symmetry of its members cf. How this is related to the others is not clarified by him.

But it is clear, from what follows, that other authors also made recourse to it. Where he differs from other authors, and certainly from Plato, is in expressly propounding a neat distinction between what is beautiful and what is good, by restricting the latter to the field of action, in so far as is of interest for ethics and politics , and by excluding the former from this field.

Nicomachean Ethics III 6 [9], a and [10] b and his conception of the mean, as avoidance of excess and defect, has to do with beauty in the sense defined above, for he himself in that work, II 6, b7 ff. Galen adds that Polycleitus in his book gave information about all the proportions summetrias of the body and fashioned a statue in accordance with his theory his logos , but that all physicians and philosophers in the context he had named Chrysippus place beauty of the human body in the symmetry or proportion of its members - keeping it distinct from health as the proportion of the elements.

De architectura III 1, 1, and I 2, 4. On the one hand, in his treatise On beauty Enneads I 6, 1 , he notoriously criticized the view that beauty consists in the symmetry summetria and measure metron of things, symmetry itself concerning the parts in their relationship to one another and to the whole, because it is a view that cannot account for the beauty of what is simple. Though he probably has the Stoic position mainly in mind, he gives the impression of intending to criticise what was the prevailing view of beauty.

On the other hand, he himself could not do wholly without that conception of beauty, for, when talking of the perceptible products of the imitative arts, he makes their beauty reside in the symmetry which they realize, and extends this to animals cf. For instance in a testimony by Aristoxenus on the Pythagoreans, which is taken up by Stobaeus Flor. Order and symmetry are supposed to extend to music and assume a character of harmony and so forth using terms that may themselves be extended beyond the realm of music. Beauty is implied though not explicitly mentioned in this connection.

There the starting point is badness or vice kakia , of which it is said that there are two forms, both for the body and for the soul. This view is developed in the case of the soul, and it is said that beauty for it consists in proportion or measure summetria and ugliness consists again in lack of measure ametria cf. The same view must also be present in Philebus 25db, though there Plato is not concerned with drawing a distinction between health and beauty assuming a parallel between body and soul , but both are made to reside in measuredness to emmetron and symmetry to summetron , these two terms themselves being associated with limit peras in opposition to unlimitedness apeiria.

It is also likely that formedness as the opposite of lack of form, which is there mentioned only in connection with the body is to be understood as lack of order and definiteness the latter is in any case implied by limitedness in the Philebus , so that all the criteria are involved that are admitted by Aristotle. In this passage, certainly, the beautiful is not kept separate from what is good. The same view must be present in Timaeus , 87c ff. This point is then said to have application to any living being, which must possess symmetry summetria. The sort of symmetry or proportion he has in mind in the context concerns the relationship between the soul and the body, which must be harmonized to one another, without any excessive development of one of them at the expense of the other.

This requirement becomes the justification of a paideia in which gymnastics, music and intellectual studies must all have a part. At the end of Republic , book IV, in a passage to which reference was made there, he says explicitly that virtue is a sort of health hugieia and beauty kallos and good disposition euexia of the soul, while vice is a sort of illness and ugliness and weakness cf. In this passage he is not concerned with keeping these three positive conditions and the corresponding negative conditions well distinct from one another, and in the context cf. It is sufficiently clear, on the other hand, that when in d ff. Further, even in introducing the virtue of justice he is willing to talk of harmony and of accord, in addition to order kosmos , as the condition that is to be realized in the soul, with an explicit allusion to what happens in music cf.

As already pointed out above still in ch. III ea, but one may also compare Laches , d. Gracefulness in speech and behaviour are made by him follow good character, clearly in the moral sense cf. Further, the exercise of such virtues as that of justice is made by him to follow on the condition of health and beauty of the soul that is described in the above mentioned passage at the end of Republic IV, for he regards the behaviour which realizes justice as the external manifestation of the harmony and concord that subsists in the soul of the agent cf.

It is added that this is true in particular of the human soul, which implies that a soul which possesses kosmos is wise and good. The same sort of order is then said, on the authority of some wise men manifestly a reference to the Pythagoreans , to apply to the universe, which for this reason is called kosmos cf. There is no reason to think that he was implicitly disagreeing with the distinction between the two which was propounded by Aristotle in the passages of the Metaphysics which were quoted at the beginning of this chapter.

Bringing back goodness to beauty makes sense if beauty is not assimilated to goodness, and in fact the admission that beauty involves symmetry excludes this possibility. What he is considering is, rather, the condition of the soul of the agent who behaves either in accordance with virtues such as justice or in contrast with them, thus he is considering the source and not the end of moral behaviour. And this condition of the soul is, in part, to be described in terms of beauty and ugliness, adopting the same definition of these terms that permits Aristotle to keep them distinct from moral goodness and badness. Further, it is illustrated by examples taken from music such as that of a well-accorded or badly-accorded instrument.

One cannot therefore claim that beauty and ugliness are assimilated to moral goodness and badness. Indeed, it is probably more correct to say that these concepts are common to both spheres, without this commonness depriving them of their aesthetic value. There is much more flexibility in the use of these terms than is often allowed for by modern interpreters. This is a passage from a chapter of his De officiis ch. I 4 , where the author talks of the origin in human nature of our appreciation for what possesses moral value. It is in this manner that even in the case of the objects which fall under his eyes he has a sense for their beauty, their charm and harmony more literally : the convenience of their parts. It is in this way, he concludes, that there arises our sense for what has moral value honestum.

One can see from this passage that the sense for what has moral value is supposed to find a source in our sense for aesthetic beauty, since this is disinterested free from passion and since this consists in an appreciation for qualities such as order and harmony, which are constitutive of moral value as well. The choice of literary contents is manifestly greatly determined by ethical considerations. The same however can be said of music and of the other arts only to a limited extent. To a large extent the effect that they produce is through the gracefulness and harmony of their products and consists in establishing a similar gracefulness and harmony in the soul.

If this result has a moral significance, the reason is not because it is a matter of using certain means in view of an end which is immediately moral, so that the means become themselves moral ; the reason is rather that the harmonious condition of the soul is the source of a conduct which reveals itself as being moral. Hence it would be erroneous to suppose that, since music and the other arts are given a great role to play in education, thus in the formation of the character of young persons, no recognition is given to aesthetic experience as such. Music includes something more because of its emotional impact hence its centrality in education.

If we leave out what is peculiar to music, the conclusion has to be drawn that he has in mind qualities or characteristics which are mainly formal and which are not restricted to the products of the arts This is restated a little later, in e quoted above, ch. In fact it is sufficiently clear that qualities such as measure and symmetry or proportion which explain gracefulness cannot be restricted to the products of the arts. In this connection it has to be remarked that the parallel between the beautiful animal and the beautiful poetic work which we have found is adopted by Aristotle goes back to Plato. However it is clear, from the same dialogue, that Plato is willing to extend the parallel to the beautiful animal. He says in fact of tragedy that it is something more than short or long passages including speeches that are piteous or frightening, for it must be a composition sustasis of them which are put together so as to fit prepousa both each other and the whole cf.

Clearly tragedy here is just an example of a poetic work, and the way in which it is characterized recalls what he had said of speech in the former passage, where the parallel with the animal is explicit. Further, what is true of human techne is also supposed to be true of divine techne , which is treated as parallel to it for instance in Sophist , b ff. In this connection it may be remarked, finally, that the world as a whole, taken as the production of a divine artisan, is said to be particularly beautiful cf. Timaeus , 30b and c , and that even the geometrical figures by which the bodies which belong to it are constituted are said to be the most beautiful among all geometrical figures cf. In its turn the sky is described as decorated by the sparks it presents and compared to the work of a particularly able painter ; on this basis it is also said to be particularly beautiful kallista , though the symmetries or proportions they realize are not perfect cf.

Republic VII, ca. Rather than talking of a contradiction, as it is done by some interpreters, one should admit that he adopts different points of view, for in the first group of passages he seems to be concerned with the formal characteristics which are instantiated by a good painting rather than with its being a reproduction of some physical object. One may establish a connection between this passage and the passage of the Philebus in which he admits that there are beautiful shapes and colours which give rise to pleasures that are particularly pure cf.

It is true that in that dialogue he thinks that beauty is realized in the fullest way and gives rise to the purest pleasure when what is contemplated are not paintings that are seen in relation to something else clearly the physical object that is reproduced but geometrical figures one may recall that beauty is attributed to certain of them also in the above mentioned passage of Timaeus 53ea. However, those other passages show that Plato is willing to concede that one may, in contemplating a painting, appreciate its formal qualities rather than fidelity to some given physical object.

Poetics 4, b [quoted above, I, ch. This explicitness is certainly not found in Plato. Sophist , d ff. What is not usually noticed about this passage of the Sophist is that Plato is assuming that the objects imitated are themselves beautiful, and beautiful because they realize symmetry or proportion, so that their beauty can be preserved in the reproduction only if this remains faithful to the symmetry or proportion which is instanced by the original, otherwise it is somehow impaired. One may question his concern with faithfulness to the original, which cannot be defended in this way if the original is not itself beautiful, but one cannot say that the aesthetic point of view is left out of consideration by him.

He tends to summarise the techniques of illusionism under the term skiagraphia , which is probably used by him in a generic way to cover them all the sense of depth due to perspective seems to be suggested more by skenographia than by this other term, which initially must have alluded to the use of shading to give relief to the figures in pictures As we shall see in connection with his treatment of tragedy, he uses that term to suggest the recourse to some form of deception, which for this very reason is to be rejected. To those developments in Greek art he opposes in Laws II, d ff.

Egyptian art in that passage is appreciated for having remained the same across the centuries and possibly also for its hieratic character, but it is not clear whether he had any precise idea of its technical nature and wanted to commend it also from this point of view. It can only be remarked that these, just as the other criteria that have been mentioned, are not apt to put in evidence the originality of the works that are submitted to judgement or the creativity of the artist. Already from the presentation of these works it is evident that symmetria he renders the Greek word with a transliteration was a central notion in architecture as well cf.

Another term of which he makes use, eurythmia , is treated by him as venusta species cf. It would thus seem that all the terms he uses as permitting us to give a judgement of the value of a building are to be considered as forms or criteria of beauty. These are the following : ordinatio which is said to render the Greek taxis , dispositio which is said to render the Greek diathesis , eurythmia , symmetria manifestly both transliterations , decor Greek equivalent not explained, but it must be to prepon , distributio which is said to render the Greek oikonomia cf. I cannot enter into an examination of the definitions he gives of these terms, but it is sufficiently clear that there is some adaptation to architecture particularly evident in the introduction of distributio of terms that, as we have seen above, were commonly used to make evident the requirement that any object must satisfy in order to be said to be beautiful.

This he suggests somewhat confusedly by expressly using the term proportio as an equivalent of the Greek analogia cf. III, ch. There is some confusion, because this term is also the equivalent of the Greek summetria , and Vitruvius is unable to keep them well distinct. It is manifest that he depends on some Greek writer on architecture who maintained that the summetria that is realized by the human body and the summetria that is realized by a building such as a temple show the existence of an analogia between them. The temple thus tends to be conceived symbolically as an extended reproduction of the human body just as the Christian temple tends to be conceived as an extended reproduction of the cross , but clearly it would be out of place to talk of mimesis in this connection.

It does not seem, however, that any distinct account of its beauty is given either by Plato or Aristotle. Thus in the passage of the Timaeus quoted above ch. In the Republic he admits as was also seen in ch. Since virtue is made to depend on order and harmony in the soul, these two accounts are complementary to one another. Pleasure in the refined form is reserved to those who appreciate music which conforms to those formal characteristics and have a grasp of the intelligible structure they reveal, while irrational pleasure is reserved to those who appreciate music which involves emotional excesses and are deprived of any such grasp.

Plato does not usually talk of beauty in this connection. However in the passage of Phaedrus , c to which reference was made in ch. If tragedy, in spite of this, becomes an object of condemnation, it is one can reasonably presume because these formal qualities cannot compensate the morally negative contents it presents. While in music there may be a reciprocal integration between the images of virtue it offers and the formal characteristics it presents, this does not happen in the case of tragedy, for the images of virtue it offers are deceptive as we shall see below, esp. A similar contrast between form and contents is also presented by comedy, but what it represents is less harmful than what tragedy represents for reasons to be given there , so that it can be tolerated within certain limits.

This leads him to stress the composition and arrangement of the tragedy as a whole and its parts, by concentrating his attention on the plot or story muthos and on those crucial moments such as recognition and reversal which determine the way in which a plot develops. Though some features thus considered are rather typical of tragedies, this sort of approach does not serve much to clarify what is peculiar to a tragedy.

The category of the tragic is even absent in his Poetics. He has more to say on drama in general, for he shows some recognition of its nature as pointed out above, esp. One question which remains open is how a tragedy or a comedy can be beautiful in spite of having some ugly contents. I come back to this issue below, ch. About the parallel that Plato propounds there between painting and poetry it is difficult to escape the conclusion that it is rather unsatisfactory. This problem of recognizing who is truly virtuous by distinguishing him from whom is not so does not arise in the case of painting, for the painter has no difficulty in recognizing the couch he wants to paint. The restriction that is proper to the first position must be that which is applicable to the poet according to the account given in Republic X.

The parallel between poetry and painting serves to show that the poet is not in the condition to have a direct grasp of the Idea, is not able to come to contemplate it directly : it is only the philosopher who is able to do so. This restriction concerns any other Idea, but concerns in particular the idea of beauty, as the account of the Symposium suggests. The poet is much in the same position as the lovers of sights of whom there is talk at the end of Republic V and who exemplify the people who pursue aesthetic pleasure : he is cut out from any grasp of either the idea of beauty or of any other idea, being a lover of the many beautiful things that are accessible to vision cf.

Its splendour in this world makes it most loved in addition to being most manifest cf. In the Symposium he notoriously describes the gradual ascent from the many beautiful things, which are first beautiful bodies one body, then more than one, then many bodies , then beautiful souls, then beautiful institutions and laws, etc. It is in this connection that he makes the distinction between the one who begets true virtue and the one who begets images of virtue. And this has been taken as an indication of the fact that Plato has no consciousness of this sort of beauty as distinct from other sorts which are deprived of aesthetic meaning.

But, in approaching these texts with the expectation to find a recognition of aesthetic beauty, they adopt a point of departure which is not justified. Aesthetic experience may be thought of as leading to eroticism as I suggested above, Part I, ch. Its object, when the ascent towards the Idea of beauty takes place, only apparently is identical with the object of aesthetic experience. It is true that this is always constituted by what is beautiful, but in one case this is the beauty of the Idea which manifests itself as something identical in a variety of different entities that are said to be beautiful.

For instance when one has experience of the beauty of beautiful bodies what one has to grasp is that the beauty the kallos which is present in all of them is one and the same hen kai tauton cf. Symposium b. On the other hand those who, like the lovers of beautiful sights, cultivate an aesthetic experience, do not grasp an identical beauty in many different entities if they grasped it, they would already have some grasp of the idea of beauty, what for them is explicitly excluded , but see those entities as being beautiful on many different grounds because of their colours, which are not identical in all of them, because of their figures, which again are not identical, and so forth, or because of a combination of colour and figure, etc.

What they see are different things which are beautiful in quite different ways, without any identical beauty being detected in them. This is for them a completely satisfying experience, which, precisely for this reason, does not lead them in any way to accomplish an ascent towards the Idea of beauty. Aesthetic experience, far from opening the road to the contemplation of the ideas, is an obstacle to it, since it encourages those who cultivate it to find their happy realization in the world of the many beautiful tones and beautiful colours and shapes, thus in the empirical world around us.

In Cultural Ethos In Platos Phaedrus the parallel concerns the emotive aspect Utilitarianism In The Handmaids Tale above, ch. Thus, talking of painting, Plato suggests that what the painter produces is e. This person's desires, at least as much as Cultural Ethos In Platos Phaedrus intelligence, account for his condition. Since virtue is Cultural Ethos In Platos Phaedrus to depend on order and harmony in the The Pros And Cons Of SAT, these two accounts are complementary to one Cultural Ethos In Platos Phaedrus.

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