2009 Student Research Conference:
22nd Annual Student Research Conference

Contrasting Mimetic and Dianoiac Art in Plato's Dialogues
Lauren R. Greenspan
Dr. Patricia Burton, Faculty Mentor

In evaluating Plato's aesthetic discourses in The Republic and Symposium, I establish that this 4th century B.C.E. philosopher may have approved of 20th century Surrealist painter Rene Magritte's playful subversion in the series The Treachery of Images. Through this connection between philosopher and painter, the dichotomy between mimetic and dianoiac art in Platonic thought is explored. This distinction justifies the philosopher's supposed desire to "ban the artist" and highlights Plato's own literary artistry manifested in his philosophical tropes such as The Republic's simile of the sun and the divided line as well as his mastery of language in Diotima's speech and throughout The Symposium.

Keywords: Plato, Aesthetics, Rene Magritte

Topic(s):Philosophy & Religion

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 26-4
Location: VH 1424
Time: 10:30

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