Plato on Mimesis and Mirrors

Philosophy and Literature 36 (1):187-195 (2012)
The mirror analogy in Republic X (596c-e) helps Socrates formulate the conception of mimesis used to make the argument that the painter is an imitator and his works are inferior, being thrice-removed from reality (596a-598d). The painter is classified as an impostor by an unfair assimilation with the sophistic mirror-holder. The mirror analogy and its imaging-devices give Socrates a dialectical advantage that he would not otherwise have. If Socrates succeeds with Glaucon in showing that painters are imitators, his success is due primarily to the mirror analogy and its metaphorical imagery.
Keywords mimesis  mirror metaphor  metaphorical imagery
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DOI 10.1353/phl.2012.0018
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