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Art and Truth after Plato$
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Tom Rockmore

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780226040028

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226040165.001.0001

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Aristotle on the Theory of Forms, Imitative Poetry, and Art in General

Aristotle on the Theory of Forms, Imitative Poetry, and Art in General

(p.46) Chapter Two Aristotle on the Theory of Forms, Imitative Poetry, and Art in General
Art and Truth after Plato

Tom Rockmore

University of Chicago Press

This chapter studies Aristotle’s effort to rehabilitate imitative poetry and art of all kinds on the basis of his critique of the theory of forms. For Aristotle, who understands “mimesis” differently from Plato, this term has nothing to do with accurate representation but rather designates the creative depiction of human action not necessarily as it is but rather as it could be. The Platonic attack on artistic imitation runs together elements that are often eventually separated. In order to track direct and indirect responses to this attack, one should distinguish types of artistic creation that progress through an enormous range from clearly imitative to clearly nonimitative styles; aesthetic and philosophical theories about types of artistic creation, including theories of artistic representation with respect to truth; and theories of epistemological representation for which artistic representation is an especially important case.

Keywords:   imitative poetry, aristotle, theory of forms, mimesis, Plato, artistic imitation

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