The 'Philosophical paintings' of the Republic

Petraki, Zacharoula A.
April 2013
Synthesis (03281205);2013, Vol. 20, p1
Academic Journal
In this article I examine Plato's appropriation of poetic language in the Republic and argue that, despite his criticism of poetry in Books 3 and 10, poetic language is justifiably weaved into the philosophical fabric to depict the corrupt, the ugly and the base. In specific terms, Plato's adaptation of several poetic motifs and images in the Republic becomes more meaningful if we choose to pay attention to Socrates as a quasi painter in the dialogue and interpret his philosophical images as philosophy's response to the deceptive dramatic representations of poetry. Thus the art of painting, which is also criticised in Republic Book 10, in Plato's hands becomes a philosophical tool which helps him investigate the relation of our mundane sense-perceptive world to the metaphysical realm of the Ideas and humans' place in it.


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