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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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On the Theory and Practice of Aesthetic Representation in the Twentieth Century

On the Theory and Practice of Aesthetic Representation in the Twentieth Century

(p.232) Chapter Seven On the Theory and Practice of Aesthetic Representation in the Twentieth Century
Art and Truth after Plato

Tom Rockmore

University of Chicago Press

This chapter illustrates a few of the many differences between modern art and earlier art forms. For one, modern art can be seen as the transformation of what was earlier an artistic endeavor that appeared in many guises to one that increasingly responds to financial imperatives. Contemporary art is either in the process of becoming or has already become a form of commodification. Modern art also shows evidence of an increasing loss of the cognitive dimension so important in earlier forms of art. The Platonic attack on artistic representation has been hugely influential in Western aesthetics, and philosophers—even artists—are divided in supporting or denying the Platonic verdict. These differences in opinion illustrate that the aesthetic discussion and even the practice of Western art is a sort of reaction to the Platonic critique of art. This scenario is now changing; the reasons for this change are discussed in the succeeding chapters.

Keywords:   modern art, art forms, commodification, cognitive dimension, Platonic attack, artistic representation, western aesthetics

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