Nashville Great Books Discussion Group

A reader's group devoted to the discussion of meaningful books.

Monday, January 09, 2006

The Republic - Book 10

Discussion questions for Book 10:

Why does Plato believe that art (“poetical imitations”) is ruinous to the understanding?

What is the “true nature” of a thing?

Why doesn’t Plato consider a work of art (a poem, or a painting, for example) to be a thing in its own right, with its own true nature, and not an imitation of something else?

What does Plato mean when he says “there is an ancient quarrel between philosophy and poetry”? (pg. 264)

Why does Plato consider the rational principle to be the “better part” of the soul?

What relationship do art, music and poetry have with our rational nature?

Under Plato’s theory, can a person use art wisely to improve the soul?

Can some forms of art appeal to the rational soul? If it did, would Plato approve of it in his Republic?


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