Plato's Republic

by Plato

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What is the complete quote and its chapter in Plato's Republic: "art should always find accommodation in the economy because it makes men better."

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To the best of my knowledge, Plato does not say anything like this in The Republic.  Rather, he finds that there is no place for art, in the form of poetry or painting, in the Republic because both are imitation and as a result inherently untrue, portraying only appearances of reality rather than reality (truth) itself.  The imitator, says Plato, “will go on imitating without knowing what makes a thing good or bad, and may be expected therefore to imitate only that which appears to be good to the ignorant multitude.” For these reasons, art deceives and does not make men better. However, Plato does include craftsmen as necessary to the Republic because they are “makers” or “creators” of particular items (he refers to beds in his example) rather than imitators of truth.

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