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Word Count: 625
In the last book Book X Plato criticizes poetry and the fine arts Plato feels that art is merely the imitation of the imitation of reality and that poetry corrupts the soul Socrates says that artists merely create things As an example if a painter draws a couch on his canvas he is creating a couch But the couch he creates is not the real couch it is nothing but a copy of an ordinary physical couch which was created by a craftsman But the ordinary physical couch is nothing more than an imperfect copy or image of the Form of Couch So the couch on the canvas is nothing but a copy of a copy of the real couch and is therefore three times removed from reality Socrates then goes on to explain that an artists knowledge is also third-rate If an artist is painting a picture of a table for example he is copying a table that has been manufactured by a furniture-maker and this furniture-maker has more knowledge of the table than the painter does But there is someone who has ever more knowledge about the table the person who wants to have the table made He is the one who gives the furniture-maker instructions to follow when making the table according to its purpose for the buyer So the buyer of the table knows more about the table than the furniture-maker and the furniture-maker knows more about the table than the painter Socrates believes that only philosophers have the first-hand knowledge of things since they believe in The Forms Socrates also denounces Homer Socrates feels that in his writing Homer has pretended to be people he is not such as a politician general businessman teacher and philosopher Socrates feels this is wrong because Homer is claiming to be able to perform these functions that he has written about but never really performed himself He feels that Homer is abandoning reality Plato
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