Plato v. Aristotle

Aristotle’s major work on the philosophy of art is the Poetics.There he maintains that all the arts imitate nature, and that imitative character is rooted in human psychology.For Aristotle, the end of artistic creation determines the appropriate means for its realization.In order to assess the excellence of a work, we must determine whether the work has a perfection of form and a soundness of method that make it a satisfactory whole.The elements of composition must display symmetry, harmony, and definition.
Aristotle’s theory differs considerably from Plato’s.Plato insists that artistic imitation, especially tragedy, fuels the passions and misleads the seeker of truth.Aristotle, by contrast, believes that the arts repair defiences in nature and tragic drama in particular makes a moral contribution.Therefore the arts are valuable and justifiable.Aristotle rejects Plato’s notion of the centrality of beauty and erotic love, as well as his metaphysical idealism.He sees beauty as a property of an artwork, rather than its purpose, whereas Plato the search for beauty is the proper end of art.He does agree with Plato “that art is a kind of techne, and that the most important human arts, such as music, painting, sculpture, and literature are imitative of human souls, bodies, and actions.”
Techne- the ability of an artist to be in command of a medium, to know what the end result would be, and to know how to execute the artwork to achieve that result.


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