Admirers of Plato are usually lovers of literary art, for Plato wrote dramatic dialogues rather than didactic volumes and did so with rare literary skill. You would expect such a philosopher to place a high value on literary art, but Plato actually attacked it, along with other forms of what he called mimêsis, and argued that most of it should be banned from the ideal society that he described in the Republic. What objections did Plato have with mimêsis? Do those objections apply to the sort of art we value today? Are they well founded? These are the questions that I shall be discussing in my talk today.
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