Aesthetics, History Of - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Philosophy

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Plato

Art and Craft

When today we speak of Plato's aesthetics, we mean his philosophical views about those fine arts that he discusses: visual arts (painting, sculpture, architecture), literary arts (epic, lyric, and dramatic poetry), and mixed musical arts (dance and song). Plato does not himself assign them a special name; for him they belong in the more general class of "craft" (technē), which includes all skills in making or doing, from woodcraft to statecraft. In the Sophist (265–266), crafts are divided into "acquisitive" and "productive," the latter being subdivided into (1) production of actual objects, which may be either human or divine (plants and elements by god, houses and knives by men), and (2) production of "images" (idola), which may also be human or divine (reflections and dreams by god; pictures by men). Images, which imitate their originals but cannot fulfill their function, are further subdivided; the...

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This section contains 18,841 words
(approx. 63 pages at 300 words per page)
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Aesthetics, History Of from Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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