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Plato: Republic

5. Plato's Philosophy of Art

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In this final module, Nakul turns to one of the most controversial elements of Plato's ideal city: the banning of music, drama, painting, or any artistic representation of any kind. The module begins by outlining the reasons for this decision; the first psychological, the second epistemological. The module ends by considering how we might respond to Plato's position. Doesn't Plato himself use allegories and myths throughout the Republic? Isn't the Republic itself an act of representation? Doesn't the dialogue form invite discussion of exactly this kind?


In this course, Nakul Krishna (University of Oxford) considers some of the key philosophical problems in Plato's Republic. In the first module, he examines the fundamental question that the Republic is trying to answer: "Why should we be just?". In this second module, he discusses the creation of an ideal city from scratch, while after that he discusses one of the most ingenious arguments in the Republic in the context of the so-called city-soul analogy. In the fourth module, he discussed Plato's theory of knowledge, looking in particular at one of the most well-known parts of the Republic: the allegory of the cave. And finally, he considers Plato's philosophy of art, asking why it is that Plato chooses to ban artistic representation from his ideal city, and what possible responses we may have to Plato's arguments.


Nakul is a Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Cambridge. In addition to Plato's Euthyphro and Meno, he also teaches Plato's Republic as well as Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics.

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APA style

Krishna, N. (2018, August 15). Plato: Republic - Plato's Philosophy of Art [Video]. MASSOLIT.

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Krishna, N. "Plato: Republic – Plato's Philosophy of Art." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018,

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