Dangerous knowledge: On the epistemic and moral significance of arts in education

Journal of Aesthetic Education 44 (3):1-15 (2010)
Abstract
Plato is usually credited as the source of the "ancient quarrel" between reason and rhetoric—and, for him, the arts fall mostly on the less favorable side of rhetoric.1 To be sure, Plato's harsh verdict on the arts rests on an idealist metaphysics and epistemology (or realism about universals)—enshrining a general pessimism about the epistemic prospects of sense experience—which few, nowadays, would consider persuasive. For Plato, since what is presented to us by the senses is no more than an inaccurate copy of truth as revealed by the intellect, and since the artist merely reproduces such copies, the productions of artists are not once but twice removed from any genuine knowledge of reality. To be sure, Plato is ..
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