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Revista de Estudios Sociales

Print version ISSN 0123-885X


ARIZA, Sergio. Banishing Poetic Forms in Plato's Republic. rev.estud.soc. [online]. 2009, n.34, pp.13-23. ISSN 0123-885X.

This paper examines a seminal but astonishing feature in Plato's criticism of poetry: Plato banishes not only particular contents and authors, but the poetic forms themselves also, specifically the mimetic form. The analysis will show that the main reason for such banishing lies in the fact that Plato discovered that the form as form (independently of its contents) has an autonomous character and is guided by aesthetic and not moral criteria. These aesthetic criteria are incompatible with the ideology that supports the ideal polis. This brings to light the merit of Plato's analysis that lies not in the appraisal of poetic activity, but in the identification of the purely aesthetic and its consequences on the political program of the Republic.

Keywords : Mimesis; Plato; Censorship; Totalitarianism.

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