Βασίλης Καρασμάνης, Ομότιμος Καθηγητής, Τομέας Ανθρωπιστικών και Κοινωνικών Επιστημών, ΕΜΠ
Παύλος Καλλιγάς, Ομότιμος Καθηγητής, ΙΦΕ, ΕΚΠΑ
Κατερίνα Ιεροδιακόνου, Καθηγήτρια, ΙΦΕ, ΕΚΠΑ
In this essay, I investigate on the notion of mimêsis in the Republic. In the Introduction (chapter I), I briefly introduce the subject and my goals to my reader. In chapter II, titled the “Preliminary Background”, I provide the appropriate background needed so that the reader will be able to properly follow the next chapters. Thus, in that chapter, I present general information with respect to a) the notion of mimêsis, b) Plato’s critique against poetry, c) the role of poets in the ancient societies, d) the context of this παλαιὰ διαφορὰ or παλαιὰ ἐναντίωσις between philosophy and poetry (607b5-c3), that Plato refers to in book X and e) Plato as a poet. In chapter III, titled “Mimêsis in Books II-III”, I present what Plato stated about this notion in this part of the Republic’s text. There, I also argue that mimêsis is an intentional human activity with a relational character between a mimoumenon and a mimêma. To this end, I present my disagreement with Pappas (2017), who suggests that mimêsis in book III does not require any sense of similarity or likeness, and I make my case that the mimêma and the mimoumenon share at least some of their ‘surface level properties’, that do indeed make them similar in a way. In the next chapter, IV, titled “Mimêsis in Book X”, I clarify on what Plato writes in this book about this notion, and I show that, there too, despite the different way that mimêsis is presented, it is still, in the end, an intentional human activity with a relational character. Though this time, great emphasis is given on the fact that the mimêma is ranked ontologically lower than the mimoumenon and especially on the fact that the agent of this activity has no knowledge of the object that she is imitating, and this is that which makes him, in large part, dangerous. In chapter V, titled “Critique on the “Persistent Commonplace””, first I shortly expand on what I take it that this interpretation of book X is and then I challenge it with a series of arguments, since I do not agree with what follows from the “persistent commonplace”: that the physical object, i.e. the artifact, which functions as the mimoumenon for the work of art, is also the mimêma in relation to the Idea of that object. So, I show that mimesis happens only at the stage of the imitator, painter, poet. Finally, in chapter VI, titled “Closing remarks”, I present my final comments and concluding thoughts on this topic, by summarizing what I showed throughout this essay.
Πλάτωνας, Πολιτεία, Μίμηση, Κριτική, Ποίηση