Posts Tagged ‘Aesthetics’

plato beauty

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According to Plato, Beauty was an idea or Form of which beautiful things were consequence.

Beauty by comparison begins in the domain of intelligible objects, since there is a Form of beauty. The most important question is: what do all of these beautiful things have in common?. To know that is to know Beauty.

The Theory of Forms maintains that two distinct levels of reality exist: the visible world of sights and sounds that we inhabit and the intelligible world of Forms that stands above the visible world and gives it being. For example, Plato maintains that in addition to being able to identify a beautiful person or a beautiful painting, we also have a general conception of Beauty itself, and we are able to identify the beauty in a person or a painting only because we have this conception of Beauty in the abstract. In other words, the beautiful things we can see are beautiful only because they participate in the more general Form of Beauty. This Form of Beauty is itself invisible, eternal, and unchanging, unlike the things in the visible world that can grow old and lose their beauty.

Plato’s account in the Symposium connects beauty to a response of love and desire, but locate beauty itself in the realm of the Forms, and the beauty of particular objects in their participation in the Form. 

Beauty’s distinctive pedagogical effects show why Plato talks about its goodness and good consequences, sometimes even its identity with “the good” (Laws 841c; Philebus 66a–b; Republic, 401c; Symposium 201c, 205e).

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In Plato´ Symposium, Socrates claims to be quoting his teacher Diotima on the subject of love, and in her lesson she calls beauty the object of every love’s yearning.

She spells out the soul’s progress toward ever-purer beauty, from one body to all, then through all beautiful souls, laws, and kinds of knowledge, to arrive at beauty itself.

By going through these stages, one will ascend from loving particular kinds of beauty to loving Beauty itself, from which all beautiful things derive their nature.

Diotima suggests that a life gazing upon and pursuing this Beauty is the best life one can lead.

In the Symposium, the Form of Beauty is the final stage in the lover of knowledge’s ascent toward Beauty.

He begins by loving particular bodies, moving from there to bodies in general, to particular minds, to minds in general, to laws and practices, to knowledge, and finally to the knowledge of the Form of Beauty. The ascent is one of increasing generalization where one’s love of beauty comes to embrace more and more things.

Ultimately, however, one’s love of beauty will embrace only one thing, the Form of Beauty, but one will recognize in this Form all that is beautiful. 

There is, besides, a sense of what Beauty may be: the signs of measure and proportion signal its presence and it is linked with goodness and justice.

Beauty here is conceived as perfect unity, or indeed as the principle of unity itself. 

Plato´s Beauty Theory, as it appears in the Symposium, holds that the Beautiful is an objective quality which is more or less intensified in and exemplified by beautiful or less beautiful objects respectively. Beauty itself exists independently of the object’s relationship to a perceiver or of its being a means to some end.

The Beautiful, then, regardless of what it is, exists as a thing in itself, separate from and supreme in relation to the beautiful objects which are beautiful by somehow sharing in its being. 

There is something innate and yet external to a beautiful object. Its beauty is there independently of a perceiver, and its being beautiful or not does not depend upon personal evaluations

Plato´s ideas could be considered as a sample of the prevailing classical conception.

According to it, Beauty consists of an arrangement of integral parts into a coherent whole, according to order, proportion and symmetry.

The ancient Roman architec Vitruvius gives as good a characterization of the classical conception in its underlying unity:

Order is the balanced adjustment of the details of the work separately, and as to the whole, the arrangement of the proportion with a view to a symmetrical result.

Proportion implies a graceful semblance: the suitable display of details in their context, when everything has a symmetrical correspondence.

Symmetry also is the appropriate harmony arising out of the details of the work itself: the correspondence of each given detail to the form of the design as a whole.  (Vitruvius, 26–27)

Plato regarded beauty as objective in the sense that it was not localized in the response of the beholder.  

In spite of Plato´s theories, we should now wonder if Beauty is an Universal Quality recognizable per se …  

In other words… Is Beauty a relative assessment, which lies in the eye of the beholder…

If we believe so, then we should conclude that Beauty is created by a subjective judgment, in which each person determines whether something is beautiful or not. 

If we agree with Plato, and therefore state that Beauty is pattern or form from which all beautiful things are derived, then we are assuming that Beauty is an objective feature.

By that our postulate would be that most perceivers would agree when it comes to determine whether something or someone is beautiful or not.

Without needing to take a side, we can say that it is both things…

Beauty couldn´t be entirely subjective—that is, if anything that anyone holds to be or experiences as beautiful is beautiful then it seems that the word has no meaning, or that we are not communicating anything when we call something beautiful except perhaps an approving personal attitude. 

In addition, though different persons can of course differ in particular judgments, it is also obvious that our judgments coincide to a certain extent.

Either way, what we can certainly state is that our attraction to another person’s body increases if that body is symmetrical and in proportion.

In this sense, there are certain aesthetical features which might entail Beauty.

Scientists believe that we perceive proportional bodies to be more healthy. This is suggested in the following famous image showing an idealized human body within a square and a circle.

Leonardo da Vinci‘s drawings of the human body emphasized its proportion. The ratio of the following distances in the above Vitruvian Man image is approximately the Golden Ratio (Φ = 1.618033…).

With the math behind it, the symmetry of your face can be measured. The closer this number is to 1.618, the more beautiful it is…

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The Golden Ratio (Φ = 1.618033…).

The Golden Ratio (Φ = 1.618033…).

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The Vitruvian Man, drawing by Leonardo Da Vinci, showing the body dimensiones, according to the Golden Ratio.

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myths on beauty

Following up with the previous philosophical introduction, I would like to bring to the spotlight a few greek mythological myths and certain thoughts, with regard to the idea of Beauty.

Firstly, the most well known case of the Judgement of Paris and the story of the Golden Apple of Discord.

The Judgement of Paris was a contest between the three most beautiful goddesses of Olympus–Aphrodite, Hera and Athena–for the prize of a golden apple addressed to “the fairest”.

While Paris inspected them, each of the goddess attempted with her powers to bribe him; Hera offered to make him king of Europe and Asia, Athena offered wisdom and skill in war, and Aphrodite, offered the world’s most beautiful woman.

On a side note, It is worth noting how mant times “Beauty” appears in this myth.

At the end, Paris chose Aphrodite, who was the Goddess of Love and Beauty, and Helen of Troy, who was considered the most beautiful woman, was bestowed on him, in exchange.

As to the beautiful Helen of Troy, she was also known as the face that launched a thousand ships, therefore somehow associated with features such as discord and betrayal.

The reason behind such reputation is that Helen of Troy was married by the time of the deal among the Prince of Troy and Aphrodite.

Hence Paris decided to abduct her, event which would eventually lead to the Trojan War

In this sense, the Golden Apple was the biggest but also the most controversial prize. Besides and presumably, in the mythology surrounding “the Judgement of Paris”, the goddess of Discord Eris managed to enter The Garden of the Hesperides, which was Hera´s orchard, and plucked one of the fruits . We can therefore see why that golden apple go was also known as the Apple of Discord.

As to other quarrels originated due to similar smug assumptions involving Beauty, I would like to mention two cases, which are very similar when it comes to events and their consequences.

The first one features Myrrha, who was Adonis biological mother.

Myrrha’s mother had said that her daughter was even more beautiful than Aphrodite which angered the Goddess of Love, who cursed Myrrha to fall in love and lust after her father.

Thus, Myrrha became pregnant and gave birth to Adonis, who was raised by Aphrodite. 

Adonis was very handsome, so, further on, Persephone was taken by his beauty, reason which brought a new quarrel among goddesses. In this case, between Aphrodite and Persephone.

Secondly, we have the well known myth of Perseus´beloved, Andromeda.

Her mother, Cassiopeia had offended the Nereids by boasting that Andromeda was more beautiful than they, so in revenge Poseidon sent a sea monster to ravage Andromeda´s father kingdom.

In all cases, Beauty causes troubles. We could say that it puts in the seeds of conflict.

Its counterpoint and collateral effect is jealousy. But also a sense of unnecessary pride and vanity seems to be present here.

Beauty claims to be defined in an extended way beyond itself… It needs to be recognized.

We could say that Beauty is defined by and to the Other.

Thus, in this order of ideas, we could think that Beauty seems to be an existentialist way to experience the Beautiful. 

Intersubjectivity defines Beauty and the Other’s look constitutes the world and the beautiful as objective. This is because the Look tends to objectify what it sees.

Undoubtedly, there are subjective elements which help us define Beauty… But those ones, as Social Constructivists would state, are not necessarily individual but colective and cultural.

On the other hand, one can not deny that certain general and universal features, are linked to the idea of Beauty. 

Therefore and figuratively speaking, I believe that  Beauty would be a sui generis concept, constituted mainly by objective and intersubjective variables, which may vary according to time and contexts.

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►Gallery: “Some Greek Myths based on Beauty”:

(Click on the images for further details)

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►Playtime!:Is your face geometrically beautiful?:

Supposedly, when it comes to Beauty, the simplest measurement is the length of your face divided by the widest part of your face.

As previously mentioned above, the closer this number is to 1.618, i.e Golden Ratio, the more beautiful the person is…

There are countless ratios that can be measured, but the website Anaface will generate a computer calculation online of a few of these ratios, from your uploaded photo for free.

An important detail is that you ought to use the photograph URL. It didn’t work for me when I tried upload he image from my computer…

For that purpose, send yourself an email with the photograph and then copy paste its URL, as shown in the gallery.

Furthermore. keep in mind that the more horizontally your face is placed, the more reliable the results will be.

Use as a model the photograph provided in order to locate the points, especially if your ears don´t show up in the photograph due to your hair… 

Follow up the instructions and you´ll soon get your score. Click on the images in the gallery below for further details …

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►Last but not Least: Quote Challenge: Beauty:

Paul from Pal Fitness has nominated me for a so called 3-Day Quote Challenge. Please Check out Paul´s blog. He is a personal trainer and coach, who loves blogging and writing. 

The rules of this challenge are: ♠Post your favorite quotes or your own quotes for three (3) posts in a row. ♠Thank the person who nominated you. ♠Pass it on to three (3) other bloggers per quote, each time you post them. Or pass it to nine (9) bloggers if you choose to post all the quotes together, in the same post.
⚠ Note: I will post the three (3) quotes together. Thus I will nominate nine (9) Bloggers.
Also, I thought It would be pertinent to choose quotes on Beauty, alongside photographs taken by me, which you will be able to see in my Instagram account... All this aims to keep it on with the topic of this post… So that’s how I will do it :D. If you have been nominated, feel free to join the challenge if you feel it is worth it, want to and/or have time to do so. You can to pick out whichever creative license regarding this feature. 

My nominees for the Quote Challenge are: 1. D.G.Kaye Writer 2. Parlor of Horror 3. Course of Mirrors 4. Living the Dream 5. Solveig Werner 6. Scribble and Scrawl  7. Round World and Me 8. The Lonely Author 9. Aidyl93

►Three Quotes on Beauty by John Keats, and some Photographs:

~ Click on the images to read ~

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Links Post:
http://www.iep.utm.edu/plato/
http://www.anaface.com/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Other
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/beauty/#ClaCon
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/plato-aesthetics/
http://asifoscope.org/2013/05/10/on-beauty/
http://www.intmath.com/blog/mathematics/is-she-beautiful-the-new-golden-ratio-4149
http://www.sparknotes.com/philosophy/plato/themes.html
http://www.sparknotes.com/philosophy/symposium/section11.rhtml
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►Philosophy / Art:

“Evolution of the Concept of Beauty and Examples in Greek Sculpture”:

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Discobolus (discus-thrower) by Myron. Nude male discus-thrower. Roman copy of 460-450 BCE bronze original. British Museum-

“The Diskobolus of Myron”. Nude male discus-thrower. Classical Period. Roman copy of 450 B.C bronze original. British Museum-

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Plato considered beauty to be the Idea (Form) above all other Ideas. 

Plato’s account in the “Symposium” connect beauty to a response of love and desire, but locate beauty itself in the realm of the Forms, and the beauty of particular objects in their participation in the Form.

In this platonic dialogue, beauty is at least as objective as any other concept, or indeed takes on a certain ontological priority as more real than particular Forms: it is a sort of Form of Forms.

Plato maintained that in addition to being able to identify a beautiful person or a beautiful painting, we also have a general conception of Beauty itself.

In other words, the beautiful things we can see are beautiful only because they participate in the more general Form of Beauty. This Form of Beauty is itself invisible, eternal, and unchanging, unlike the things in the visible world that can grow old and lose their beauty. 

The universal elements of beauty according to Aristotle in his book “Metaphysics” are: order, symmetry, and definiteness or determinateness.

In “Poetics” he added another essential, namely, a certain magnitude, it being desirable, for a synoptic and single view of the parts, that the object should not be too large, while clearness of perception requires that it should not be too small.

Aristotle saw a relationship between the beautiful (to kalon) and virtue, arguing that “Virtue aims at the beautiful”.  Aristotle also said that when the good person chooses to act virtuously, he does so for the sake of the “kalon”—a word that can mean “beautiful,” “noble,” or “fine. (Nicomachean Ethics. 1106b5–14)

Aristotle distinguished between the good and the beautiful. The good implies an action or conduct, while the beautiful is found only in motionless objects. “Beauty is a bodily excellence and produces many other good things.” Because “beautiful things are effects of mathematical sciences,” Aristotle viewed beautiful forms to have order, symmetry, and definiteness.

Aristotle says in the Poeticsthat “to be beautiful, a living creature, and every whole made up of parts, must present a certain order in its arrangement of parts” (Aristotle, “Poetics”, volume II, 2322).

Plato and Aristotle both regard beauty as objective in the sense that it is not localized in the response of the beholder

The classical conception is that beauty consists of an arrangement of integral parts into a coherent whole, according to proportion, harmony, symmetry, and similar notions. This is a primordial Western conception of beauty, and is embodied in classical and neo-classical architecture, sculpture, literature, and music wherever they appear.

The Pythagorean school saw a strong connection between mathematics  and beauty. In particular, they noted that objects proportioned according to the golden ratio seemed more attractive.

Ancient Greek Sculpture and Architecture are based on this view of symmetry and proportion.

Classical and Hellenistic sculptures of men and women produced according to the Greek philosophers’ tenets of ideal human beauty which were rediscovered in Renaissance Europe, leading to a re-adoption of what became known as a “classical ideal”.

In his book, “Observations on the Feeling of the Beautiful and Sublime” (1764),  Immanuel Kant describes the feeling of the sublime and the feeling of the beautiful.

Some of his examples of feelings of the beautiful are the sight of flower beds, grazing flocks, and daylight.  

As to Kant, they “occasion a pleasant sensation but one that is joyous and smiling.”

Feelings of the sublime are the result of seeing mountain peaks, raging storms, and night. These ones, according to Kant, “arouse enjoyment but with horror”.

Beauty and the sublime can be joined or alternated. Kant claimed that tragedy, for the most part, stirs the feeling of the sublime. Comedy arouses feelings for beauty.

Kant subdivided the sublime into three kinds. The feeling of the terrifying sublime is sometimes accompanied with a certain dread or melancholy. The feeling of the noble sublime is quiet wonder. Feelings of the splendid sublime are pervaded with beauty.

For Kant, judgments of taste rest on something universal in human nature. So, correct judgments of taste, like the capacity to do the morally right thing, are available to all.

Friedrich Nietzsche disputes Kant’s view. He thinks that beauty may be highly personal, elusive, and not universally available, and perhaps is available only to aristocratic souls in unusual enhanced ecstatic experiences.

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►Beauty as it appears in Classical and Hellenistic Greek Sculptures:

►I) Greek Sculptures from the Classic Period (480 / 323 B.C):

During the Classical Period (480 /323 B.C.) the Greek artists replaced the stiff vertical figures of the archaic period with three-dimensional snap shots of figures in action.

While the archaic sculptures appeared static the classical statues held dynamic poses bursting with potential energy.

Figures become sensuous and appear frozen in action; it seems that only a second ago they were actually alive. Faces are given more expression and whole figures strike a particular mood. Clothes too become more subtle in their rendering and cling to the contours of the body in what has been described as “wind-blown”.

The concept of dialectics began to take shape. The world became understood as a series of opposing forces that created a certain synthesis and a transient balance that always shifted to accommodate the movement of the opposing forces. So in sculpture the human figure became understood as a universe of opposing forces which created a perfect aesthetic entity the moment they achieved balance.

It was clear to an artist of the Classical period of Greece that the beauty of the whole depends on the harmony of the parts which comprise it, and that each part depends on the others in order to create a harmonious group.

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Zeus of Artemision. Dated 450 B.C. Found Found in the sea near cape Artemision. National Archaeological Museum of Athens

Zeus of Artemision. Dated 450 B.C. Classical Period. Found Found in the sea near cape Artemision. National Archaeological Museum of Athens.-

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The original 'Doryphorus', or Spear Bearer, done in the style of a Greek school in about 450-40 BC, was probably by Polyclitus. A marble Roman copy pictured, now in the National Museum in Naples, Italy, was modeled on the bronze Greek original.-

‘”Doryphorus”, or Spear Bearer, done in the style of a Greek school in about 450-40 B.C (Classical Period), was probably by Polyclitus. A marble Roman copy pictured, now in the National Museum in Naples, Italy, was modeled on the bronze Greek original.-

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Praxiteles' 'Hermes with the Infant Dionysus' is the only known original by an early Greek master. Unearthed in 1877 at Olympia, Greece, it is in the Olympia Museum. The missing arm probably held a bunch of grapes, toward which the child is reaching.

Praxiteles” “Hermes with the Infant Dionysus'”is the only known original by an early Greek master from the Classical Period. Unearthed in 1877 at Olympia, Greece, it is in the Olympia Museum. The missing arm probably held a bunch of grapes, toward which the child is reaching.-

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►II) Greek Sculptures from the Hellenistic Period (323/31 B.C):

The Hellenistic period begins in 323 with the death of Alexander the Great and ends with the battle of Actio in 31 BC.

During this period, the Idealism of classical art gave way to a higher degree of Naturalism. While the interest in deities and heroic themes was still of importance, the emphasis of Hellenistic art shifted from religious and naturalistic themes towards more dramatic human expression, psychological and spiritual preoccupation, and theatrical settings. The sculpture of this period abandons the self-containment of the earlier styles and appears to embrace its physical surroundings with dramatic groupings and creative landscaping of its context. 

Eroticism gained popularity during this period and statues of Aphrodite, Eros, Satyrs, Dionysus, Pan, and even hermaphrodites are depicted in a multitude of configurations and styles. Statues of female nudes became popular in Hellenistic art and statues of Venus in various poses and attitudes adorn the halls of many museums around the world.-

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 The Nike of Samothrace (Unknown Greek artist) is a 2nd-century BC marble sculpture of the Greek goddess Nike (Victory).  Unknown Greek artist Since 1884, it has been  displayed at the Louvre.-

The Nike of Samothrace (Unknown Greek artist) is a 2nd century B.C (Hellenistic Period) marble sculpture of the Greek goddess Nike (Victory). Unknown Greek artist Since 1884, it has been displayed at the Louvre.-

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Venus_de_Milo

“Venus or Aphrodite of Milo”, greek ancient statue of Aphrodite, now in Paris at the Louvre. Carved by Alexandros, a sculptor of Antioch on the Maeander River in about 150 B.C, Hellenistic Period. It was found on the Aegean island of Melos in 1820.-

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Aphrodite (Venus), Pan, and Eros. Circa 100 BC. (Hellenistic Period). National Archaeological Museum of Athens. Found at Delos.-

“Aphrodite (Venus), Pan, and Eros”. Circa 100 B.C. (Hellenistic Period). National Archaeological Museum of Athens. Found at Delos.-

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 ►Ancient Greek Sculpture: 

“The three main periods: Archaic, Classical and Hellenistic”:

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►Links Post:
http://lyceumphilosophy.com/?q=node/50
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/plato-aesthetics/
http://public.wsu.edu/~kimander/teraray.htm
http://www.hull.ac.uk/php/465848/HOMEPAGE/PDFs/05_Zangwill_HPQ_30_1.pdf
http://www.1902encyclopedia.com/A/AES/aesthetics-09.html
http://www.greeklandscapes.com/greece/athens_museum_hellenistic.html
http://viewfromaburrow.com/2015/02/07/nike-of-samothrace/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Observations_on_the_Feeling_of_the_Beautiful_and_Sublime

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►Greek Mythology and Philosophy:

“The Dichotomy Apollonian -Dionysian”, according to Friedrich Nietzsche:

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ApolloDionysusDuality

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Apollonian and Dionysian are terms used by Nietzsche in his book “The Birth of Tragedy” to designate the two central principles in Greek culture. 

Apollo was the son of zeus and Leto. Artemis was his twin sister. He was the greek god of prophecy, music, intellectual pursuits, healing, plague, and sometimes, the sun.

Writers often contrast the cerebral, beardless young Apollo with his half-brother, the hedonistic Dionysus.

As to Dionysus, he was the son of Zeus and Semele. Dionysus was the greek god of wine, agriculture, and fertility of nature. He was also related to mystery religions, such as those practised at Eleusis, being linked to ecstasy and initiation into secret rites.

Apollo, as the sun-god, represents light, clarity, and form, whereas Dionysus, as the wine-god, represents drunkenness and ecstasy.

The Apollonian, which corresponds to Schopenhauer’s principium individuationis (“principle of individuation”), is the basis of all analytic distinctions.

Everything that is part of the unique individuality of man or thing is Apollonian in character; all types of form or structure are Apollonian, since form serves to define or individualize that which is formed; thus, sculpture is the most Apollonian of the arts, since it relies entirely on form for its effect. Rational thought is also Apollonian since it is structured and makes distinctions.

The Dionysian, which corresponds to Schopenhauer’s conception of “Will”, is directly opposed to the Apollonian.

Drunkenness and madness are Dionysian because they break down a man’s individual character; all forms of enthusiasm and ecstasy are Dionysian, for in such states man gives up his individuality and submerges himself in a greater whole: music is the most Dionysian of the arts, since it appeals directly to man’s instinctive, chaotic emotions and not to his formally reasoning mind.

“Dionysian spirit” is defined in the philosophy of Nietzsche, as displaying creative-intuitive power as opposed to critical-rational power.

But, both of them, the Apollonian and the Dionysian are necessary in the creation of art. Without the Apollonian, the Dionysian lacks the form and structure to make a coherent piece of art, and without the Dionysian, the Apollonian lacks the necessary vitality and passion. Although they are diametrically opposed, they are also intimately intertwined.

The Greek tragedies of Aeschylus and Sophocles, which Nietzsche considers to be among humankind’s greatest accomplishments, achieve their sublime effects by taming Dionysian passions by means of the Apollonian. Greek tragedy evolved out of religious rituals featuring a chorus of singers and dancers, and it achieved its distinctive shape when two or more actors stood apart from the chorus as tragic actors. The chorus of a Greek tragedy is not the “ideal spectator,” as some scholars believe, but rather the representation of the primal unity achieved through the Dionysian. By witnessing the fall of a tragic hero, we witness the death of the individual, who is absorbed back into the Dionysian primal unity. Because the Apollonian impulses of the Greek tragedians give form to the Dionysian rituals of music and dance, the death of the hero is not a negative, destructive act but rather a positive, creative affirmation of life through art.

Unfortunately, the golden age of Greek tragedy lasted less than a century and was brought to an end by the combined influence of Euripides and Socrates. Euripides shuns both the primal unity induced by the Dionysian and the dreamlike state induced by the Apollonian, and instead he turns the Greek stage into a platform for morality and rationality.

One of Nietzsche’s concerns in “The Birth of Tragedy” is to address the question of the best stance to take toward existence and the world. He criticizes his own age for being overly rationalistic, for assuming that it is best to treat existence and the world primarily as objects of knowledge, which is for him meaningless.

Greek tragedy as Nietzsche understands it cannot coexist in a world of Socratic rationality.

Tragedy gains its strength from exposing the depths that lie beneath our rational surface, whereas Socrates insists that we become fully human only by becoming fully rational.

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Dionysus.-

Dionysus (on the right side).-

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Check out: “The Birth of Tragedy (1872), by Friedrich Nietzsche”:

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Click on the cover book to read it.-

Click on the cover book to read it.-

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"Apollo Playing the Lyre" by Charles Philippe Lariviere.-

“Apollo Playing the Lyre” by Charles Philippe Lariviere (1825/1830).-

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"Dionysus drunk by Tsarouchis (1972).-

“Dionysus drunk by Yannis Tsarouchis (1972).-

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►Links Post:
http://www.sparknotes.com/philosophy/nietzsche/section1.rhtml
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Birth_of_Tragedy
http://www.mlahanas.de/Greeks/Mythology/Dionysus.html
http://www.theoi.com/Olympios/Apollon.html
http://ancienthistory.about.com/od/apollomyth/ig/Apollo/Apollo-and-Other-Olympian-Gods.htm
http://mythologian.net/apollo-the-god-of-sun-music-prophecy-and-healing/

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♠Plato´s “Ion” and Aristotle´s “Poetics”: “On the Concepts of Mimesis and Catharsis”:

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1) →Plato´s “Ion”: ” On the Concept of Mimesis as “The representation of nature”.

 And of Poetry as “A virtue of divine possession”:

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Both Plato and Aristotle saw in mimesis the representation of nature. Plato wrote about mimesis in both in “Ion” and “The Republic” (Books II, III, and X). 

It is in “Ion” where this topic is more developped, Socrates discusses with Ion, a professional rhapsode who also lectures on Homer, the question of whether the rhapsode, a performer of poetry, gives his performance on account of his skill and knowledge or by virtue of divine possession.

Socrates engages Ion in a philosophical discussion. Ion admits when Socrates asks, that his skill in performance recitation is limited to Homer, and that all other poets bore him.

Socrates says that the god speaks first to the poet, then gives the rhapsode his skill,and thus, gods communicate to the people. Socrates posits that Ion must be out of his mind when he acts, because he can weep even though he has lost nothing, and recoil in fear when in front of an admiring audience. Ion says that the explanation for this is very simple: it is the promise of payment that inspires his deliberate disconnection from reality. In says that when he looks at the audience and sees them weeping, he knows he will laugh because it has made him richer, and that when they laugh, he will be weeping at losing the money (535e).

Socrates offers the metaphor of a magnet to explain how the rhapsode transmits the poet’s original inspiration from the muse to the audience.This argument is supposed to be an early example of a so-called genetic fallacy since his conclusion arises from his famous lodestone (magnet) analogy. 

According to Koeppe this argument can be summarized as follows: (a) Ion is inspired whenever he encounters Homer’s works; (b) Ion lacks the higher-order mental states needed for epistemic-justification while being inspired (c) Ion has no other relevant source of justification besides Homer’s works.

Socrates says that the rhapsode is not guided by rules of art, but is an inspired person who derives a mysterious power from the poet; and the poet, is inspired by the God. The poets and their interpreters may be compared to a chain of magnetic rings suspended from one another, and from a magnet. The magnet is the Muse, and the ring which immediately follows is the poet himself; from him are suspended other poets; there is also a chain of rhapsodes and actors, who also hang from the Muses, but are let down at the side; and the last ring of all is the spectator.

Through Socrates, Plato argues that “Ion’s talent as an interpreter cannot be an art, a definable body of knowledge or an ordered system of skills,” but instead must come from the divine madness or inspiration of the Muse.

The old quarrel between philosophy and poetry, which in “The Republic” leads to their final separation, is already working in the mind of Plato, and is embodied by him in the contrast between Socrates and Ion. Yet here, as in the Republic, Socrates shows a sympathy with the poetic nature. Also, the manner in which Ion is affected by his own recitations affords a lively illustration of the power which, in the Republic, Socrates attributes to dramatic performances over the mind of the performer.

Because the poet is subject to this divine madness, it is not his/her function to convey the truth. As Plato has it, only truth is the concern of the philosopher.

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Click on the image above to read Plato´s dialogue "Ion".-

Click on the image above to read Plato´s dialogue “Ion”.-

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2) →Aristotle´s “Poetics”: On The Concepts of Mimesis  as “the perfection and imitation of nature” 

And Catharsis as “a purification and purgation of emotions”:

ion_04

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Similar to Plato’s writings about mimesis, Aristotle also defined mimesis as the perfection and imitation of nature. Art is not only imitation but also the use of mathematical ideas and symmetry in the search for the perfect, the timeless, and contrasting being with becoming. Nature is full of change, decay, and cycles, but art can also search for what is everlasting and the first causes of natural phenomena

Aristotle’s “Poetics”  is often referred to as the counterpart to this Platonic conception of poetry.

Aristotle considered important that there might a certain distance between art and life. Hence, we draw knowledge and consolation from tragedies only because they do not happen to us. Without this distance, tragedy could not give rise to catharsis.

Catharsis (from the Greek κάθαρσις katharsis meaning “purification” or “cleansing”) is the purification and purgation of emotions—especially pity and fear—through art or any extreme change in emotion that results in renewal

Catharsis can only be achieved if we see something that is both recognisable and distant. Aristotle argued that literature is more interesting as a means of learning than history, because history deals with specific facts that have happened, and which are contingent, whereas literature, although sometimes based on history, deals with events that could have taken place or ought to have taken place.

Aristotle thought of drama as being “an imitation of an action” and of tragedy  as “falling from a higher to a lower estate”. He held the characters in tragedy were better than the average human being, while those of comedy were worse.

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Click on the image above to read Aristotle´s "Poetics".-

Click on the image above to read Aristotle´s “Poetics”.-

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♠Quotes on Aristotle´s “Poetics”:

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♠Links Post:

http://ordinary-gentlemen.com/blog/2010/07/31/plato-ion-whats-the-problem-with-poets

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/1635/1635-h/1635-h.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poetics_(Aristotle)

http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/english/melani/cs6/poetics.html

http://www.novelguide.com/aristotles-poetics/novel-summary

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catharsis

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♠Last but not least: Thanks Salvela for the nomination:

The Cracking Chrispmouse Bloggywog Award:

Click on the image above to check out the nomination.-

Click on the image above to check out the nomination.-

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