Art and Ethics in Plato’s Symposium

By Vincent Rama.

Published by The Arts Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The initial goal of this essay will be to establish that Plato really does have something important to say about art in the Symposium, and in so doing, postulate a link between Plato’s accounts of art and love in the dialogue. The next task will be to define the nature of the relationship between art and love. This relationship will unfold as a partnership of moral responsibility: love and art will unite as paths to the forms of the good and the beautiful. They will be the vehicles, and the means by which we live the good life. Finally, there will be an attempt to reconcile Plato’s seemingly opposed views of the artist in the Symposium and the Republic. One interpretation will be that Plato was quite positive in his evaluation of art and the artist in the Symposium, but then changed his mind dramatically while writing the Republic; another will be that there is a subtle continuity between the two dialogues and a sense in which the Symposium sets the stage for the harsh criticism of art in the Republic

Keywords: Plato, Symposium, Republic, Pharmakon, Beauty, The Beautiful, The Good, The Good Life

The International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 3, Issue 6, pp.81-88. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 535.806KB).

Vincent Rama

Adjunct Professor, Philosophy Department, William Paterson University, Wayne, New Jersey, USA

I am an adjunct professor in the philosophy department at William Paterson University in Wayne, New Jersey. My areas of interest include aesthetics, ethics, pragmatism, and business ethics. I am a member of the NY Pragmatists, the Society for Advancement of American Philosophy, and the Society for Business Ethics.

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