Art and Truth after Plato

Art and Truth after Plato

Tom Rockmore

Print publication date: 2013

ISBN: 9780226040028

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

Abstract

Despite its foundational role in the history of philosophy, Plato's famous argument that art does not have access to truth or knowledge is now rarely examined, in part because recent philosophers have assumed that Plato’s challenge was resolved long ago. This book argues that Plato has in fact never been satisfactorily answered—and to demonstrate that, it offers a comprehensive account of Plato’s influence through nearly the whole history of Western aesthetics. The book offers a reading of the post-Platonic aesthetic tradition as a series of responses to Plato’s position, examining a diversity of thinkers and ideas. It visits Aristotle’s Poetics, the medieval Christians, Kant’s Critique of Judgment, Hegel’s phenomenology, Marxism, social realism, Heidegger, and many other works and thinkers, ending with a powerful synthesis that lands on four central aesthetic arguments that philosophers have debated.