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Review Sheet 1

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Published by: Henry Wang on Jun 10, 2013
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Review Sheet 1 1. Definitions: • • > (Lat.

) censura (judgment) >census, censere (to appraise, judge, evaluate, estimate) censor (OED): the title of two magistrates in ancient Rome, who drew up the register or census of the citizens [i.e. the enrolment of the names and property assessments of all Roman citizens] and had the supervision of public morals [regimen morum] Socratic method (“elenchus” or “elenkhos”)– dialectic method of truth-seeking by means of refutation and persuasion Elenkhos (Gk.)~ to cross-examine, put to the test also: to shame, to prove mimesis (imitation, reproduction) > Gk. mimesthai (to imitate, enact, impersonate, reproduce)

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2. Censorship in Ancient Rome. Historical Perspectives. “[censorship] sprang from a small beginning but grew to such an extent that the conduct and morals of Rome, the control of the senate and the equestrian order; the power of honouring and degrading was also in the hands of these magistrates; the legal rights connected with public places and private property, and the revenues of the Roman people, were under their absolute control. “ Titus Livius (Livy), From the Founding of the City. Book 4 “The office was the crown of all other civic honours and was, in a way, the culmination of a great political career. It carried a wide range of powers, including that of examining the lives and morals of the citizens. The Romans believed that no one should be left to his own ways and desires without being subject to inspection and review, either in choosing a wife, or in begetting children, or in the ordering of his daily life, or in entertaining his friends. Rather, they were of the opinion that these things revealed a man 's real character more than did his public and political career, so they set men in office to observe, reprimand and punish, in order that no one should turn aside to self-

and I shall convince you of what is good in their literature to look at. twice removed from truth: Forms/Ideas  Phenomena  Images 4. telling you what I found out from my research at Athens. and here I will say something that you can consider to be the words of a prophet: when that nation gives us its literature it will corrupt everything – and all the more if it sends its doctors here. Cato. thus lightly suffer our children to listen to any chance stories fashioned by any chance teachers and so to take into their minds opinions for the most part contrary to those that we shall think it desirable for them to hold when they are grown up?” “By no .” Plutarch. Life of Cato the Elder. Plato’s Republic (selected passages on mimesis) [377b] Shall we. 16 I will speak about those Greeks in the appropriate place. art) as copies of copies. but not to learn thoroughly.indulgence and neglect his native and customary way of life. then. The Greeks are a most wicked and undisciplined people. Ad Filium 3. Structure of Plato’s theory of forms and the hierarchy of faculties: [THE GOOD] •intelligible world FORMS (understanding) MATHEMATICS (reasoning) ____________________________________________________________ •visible world perception) (imagination) OBJECTS OF SENSE IMAGES (sense •Plato’s critique of mimesis ‘images’ (poetry.

“since it is by and in nature that he has made this and all other things. and easy to produce without knowledge of the truth. will apply to the maker of tragedies also.” he said. then.” said he. and other craftsmen. “In refusing to admit at all so much of it as is imitative…” “What do you mean?” “Why. and what they do well we must pass and what not. if he is an imitator and is in his nature three removes from the king and the truth. for example.” “So it seems.” “God. that he is the imitator of the thing which those others produce.” “What will you say he is in relation to the bed?” [597e] “This. not realities. in the matter of poetry.” “And what of the carpenter? Shall we not call him the creator of a bed?” “Yes. because it touches or lays hold of only a small part of the object and that a phantom.” said I. And the stories on the accepted list we will induce nurses and mothers to tell to the children and so shape their souls by these stories far rather than their bodies by their hands…” “And truly. For it is phantoms. as. “Then the mimetic art is far removed from truth. I think. “the producer of the product three removes from nature you call the imitator?” “By all means. or something of the kind?” “That would certainly be right. wishing to be the real author of the bed that has real being and not of some particular bed. will paint us a cobbler. “This. a carpenter. by exhibiting at a distance his picture of a carpenter he would deceive children and foolish men. then. a painter.” I said. but nevertheless if he were a good painter. then. by a control [377c] over our story makers. as an antidote a knowledge of its real nature.” “We must begin. and especially.” “Shall we.” “Shall we also say that the painter is the creator and maker of that sort of thing?” “By no means.” [598b] “Consider.” he said.” “What about it?” he said. call him its true and natural begetter. then. and make them believe it to be a real carpenter. and this.manner of means will we allow it. that they produce. it seems. this very point.” “Very good. produced it in nature unique. we say. between ourselves—for you will not betray me to the tragic poets and all other imitators—that kind of art seems to be a corruption of the mind of all listeners who do not possess. to the imitation of reality as it is or of appearance as it appears? Is it an imitation of a phantasm or of the truth?” “Of a phantasm. then. as are all other imitators. Or is there something in . it seems. [598c] though he himself has no expertness in any of these arts. reject. “many other considerations assure me that we were entirely right in our organization of the state.” [599a] they cannot perceive that these are three removes from reality. To which is painting directed in every case.” he said. is the reason why it can produce everything. “seems to me the most reasonable designation for him.

because he stimulates and fosters this element in the soul. but calls the same thing now one. and by strengthening it tends to destroy the rational part. and do good poets really know the things about which the multitude fancy they speak well?” “And so [605 b] we may at last say that we should be justified in not admitting him [the poet] into a well-ordered state. Precisely in the same manner we shall say that the mimetic poet sets up in each individual soul a vicious constitution by fashioning phantoms far removed from reality. just as when in a state one puts bad men in power and turns the city over to them and ruins the better sort.” . now the other.their claim. and by currying favor with the senseless element [605c] that cannot distinguish the greater from the less.

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