Proceeding of the European Society for Aesthetics 2:161-177 (2010)
The status of art in Plato's philosophy has always been a difficult problem. As a matter of fact, he even threw the poets out from his ideal state, a passage that has led some interpreters to assess that Plato did not develop a proper philosophy of art. Nevertheless, R. G. Collingwood, wrote an article titled “Plato's Philosophy of Art”. How can it be? What could lead one of the most important aesthetic scholars of the first half of the twentieth century to make this thesis about Plato? To understand Collingwood's position at that time, I will review it in a new light: his own philosophy of art at that moment as it was propounded in Outlines of a Philosophy of Art, a work he published that same year. I will also examine how Collingwood's position changed when he returned to the same subject in 1938, on the publication of The Principles of Art. Finally, I will end this article defending the correctness of Collingwood's earlier interpretation of Plato's position on art.
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