You were an artist and a philosopher, but Plato thought the two were incompatible. However there’s rarely an artist who doesn’t try to tease out some philosophical conundrum. Philosopher as artist is rarer. Would you agree + why?

Philosopher's reply

Dear Pauline,

I agree with you, but only partially. It is true that every artist deal with philosophical questions, his inspiration is triggered by those urgent issues. But philosophers also have an artist impulse; thanks to it, the philosophers try to embellish the world and their lives in it. In fact, many philosophers, Hegel for example, understand the Art as the purest philosophy. Plato says in his Republic, if the part of the soul that enjoys the Art is like a mistress to nothing healthy and good (R. 603a12-b2), this part is the moving part of all human enterprises.

Andrea Lozano-Vasquez

Philosopher's profile

Andrea Lozano-Vasquez

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia

One of the first Plato scholars who understands the importance of art in knowledge of reality. She combines in her own work the same beauty that Plato uses to lead us to real philosophy. Her The Fire and the Sun shows a sufficiency in Plato's philosophy that gives sense to some of the apparent contradictions in Republic's criticism of poetry and poets. I love this book.

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