Write 5 pages thesis on the topic criticisms of plato in aristotles poetics. According to Plato’s theory of mimesis, art is an imitation of an imitation, which means that it is twice removed from reality (Plato 1955, p.132). Plato argues that people first have ideas about things before they actually create them. For instance, a carpenter’s chair is first conceived in the carpenter’s mind as an idea before it is realized in the physical sense, thus it is once removed from reality. However, a painter’s chair is two times detached from reality because it is a mock of the carpenter’s chair, which is itself a copy of the original idea in the carpenter’s mind. As a moralist, Plato objected to poetry because he perceived it to be immoral. for instance, poetry appeals to the lower mental faculties, it portrays noble men with disordered mental faculties, and leads people away from the truth. As a philosopher, Plato objected to poetry because it is based on fiction. to him, truth derived from philosophy was better than the pleasure of indulging in poetry. The ‘philosophical’ approach is connected to the ‘moral’ approach. Plato praised philosophy and regarded it more highly than poetry because philosophers deal with truth rather than an illusion of the truth as poets often do.
As it can be seen, Plato rejects poetry from three points of view namely educational, philosophical and moral. from an educational perspective, Plato disapproves of the use of epic narrative in bringing up children because to him such stories are not only unfit for children whose impressionable minds act like sponges absorbing everything, but also because they cannot be true. Philosophically, Plato thinks artists lack knowledge. he considers poetry not to be practical because unlike other practical arts, it does not have any educational value. Poetry fails to reveal true knowledge because when one is continually exposed to poetry, they cannot appreciate reason, justice, and the pursuit of truth (Plato 1955, p.130). he strongly believes that poetry yields unwarranted lamentation and ecstasies or anxieties while obscuring reason at the same time. From the moral perspective, Plato disapproves of poetry because it encourages undesirable passions. to him, poetry was inferior to the rest of the practical arts because it only appealed to the inferior part of the soul.
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