Plato and Art (quick write-up summary of online course)

Plato – critical of art

Poetry was read aloud in festivals. Poetry was also held in high esteem.
People looked toward stories in poetry for moral guidance.

Plato’s criticism:

Moral case –

Corrosive beliefs:
Poetry can corrupt listeners. For instance, poetry can teach people that gods are not good.
Poetry can make the afterlife seem bad.
Poetry portrays good people as being miserable.

(Book 10 of Republic) Corrosive effect on people’s emotions – causes people to enjoy irrational behavior.
Poetry can produce desires in man.
Poetry is about people who are not guided by reason.

People should not avoid emotion but keep them guided by reason. Poetry prevents people from using rational balance in emotion and behavior.

Mimesis – “imitation” of characters by poets.

Imitating bad characters can make you bad if done seriously and from youth.
Poets can perform their social role poorly by imitating other’s social roles.

Epistemological criticism –

Poets do not know the nature of the things of which they speak.

– Pious actions participate in piety – the form of piety –

As we advance in knowledge we advance in the form.

What you learn from your senses is irrelevant to knowledge of the forms. You must use your senses to learn about the form of a thing.
Painters only have knowledge of a thing’s appearance and, therefore, do not have knowledge of the forms – only of appearances. The same applies to poets.
Painters, and poets, also do not have true beliefs about things.

There are consequences to having knowledge. (knowledge of virtue is being virtuous; knowledge of bravery is being brave)
Poets do not show signs of these consequences.

Someone who uses or creates a thing has knowledge of a thing. Poets/painters neither use nor create things.

Painters exploit people’s tendency to make errors. (using tricks of perspective and shadow) So do poets.

Heavily censored poetry can be heard by the youth who will eventually be guardians. Adults must pay a heavy fine to do so.

Are the arts valuable for gaining knowledge?

Playing in the Dirt

After joining a small group of footballers for several matches once a week or so, I found myself with cleats that were gunned with dirt. Usually, commercial shots of products portray them brand new with no flaws or even smudges from your finger tips. The studio can almost feel like a sterile lab when handling glass or reflective surfaces which is why it can be a lot of fun to work with used and, in this case, filthy products. One benefit of creating a brand new looking image is that you have a particular goal in post – namely, removing all marks, scuffs, smudges, etc. However, working with something dirty has a lot of grey area in deciding how dirty you want the item to look – what you keep and what you take out. Below are a few of the images from the cleats but with no post. Enjoy!

New Place

I was recently invited to create a portfolio at Cargo Collective. I found their designs to be very simple and effective. Check out my work at http://cargocollective.com/alexsegalphoto

In creating the portfolio, I also managed to dig up some more images to include under “Places”. Here are those images: