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Word Count: 245
Aristotles major work on the philosophy of art is the Poetics There he maintains that all the arts imitate nature and that imitative character is rooted in human psychology For Aristotle the end of artistic creation determines the appropriate means for its realization In order to assess the excellence of a work we must determine whether the work has a perfection of form and a soundness of method that make it a satisfactory whole The elements of composition must display symmetry harmony and definition Aristotles theory differs considerably from Platos Plato insists that artistic imitation especially tragedy fuels the passions and misleads the seeker of truth Aristotle by contrast believes that the arts repair defiences in nature and tragic drama in particular makes a moral contribution Therefore the arts are valuable and justifiable Aristotle rejects Platos notion of the centrality of beauty and erotic love as well as his metaphysical idealism He sees beauty as a property of an artwork rather than its purpose whereas Plato the search for beauty is the proper end of art He does agree with Plato that art is a kind of techne and that the most important human arts such as music painting sculpture and literature are imitative of human souls bodies and actions Techne- the ability of an artist to be in command of a medium to know what the end result would be and to know how to execute the artwork to achieve that result
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