Mimesis: the Platonic doctrine on artistic imitation and its meaning for us


  • W. J. Verdenius Utrecht University
  • Ana Elisa Echeverri Universidad de Antioquia


Theory of art, Mimesis., Plato


The doctrine of imitation as a general principie of art, which lingered until the eighteenth century, is not merely a Platonic doctrine; it is Greek per se. Questioning and belittling mimesis, proper to the way we understand it nowadays, began in Romanticism. The main objection opposed to that doctrine deals specifically with Plato 's pretended rational view whichforbids the acknowledgement of the actual nature of art, of its relation to (natural and ideal) reality, as well as the productive or expressive ingenuity of the artist. It is shown in the text the illegitimacy of that critique on three steps. First; it is proved that, according to Plato, to copy does not imply servilism. Then, it is maintained that modern aesthetic fantasy and selfexpression may not ignore imilative elements in art. Finally, those Plato's texts, usually distorted or obliterated by current critiques, in which the philosopher deals with imitation, are read over.

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How to Cite

Verdenius, W. J., & Echeverri, A. E. (2096). Mimesis: the Platonic doctrine on artistic imitation and its meaning for us. Estudios De Filosofía, (14), 11–40. Retrieved from https://revistas.udea.edu.co/index.php/estudios_de_filosofia/article/view/338440




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