Does Art Imitate Life or Does Life Imitate Art?

Topics: Ancient Rome, Platonism, Aggression Pages: 3 (423 words) Published: December 1, 2005
Two of the greatest philosophers disagreed on a debate that still in going on today. Does art

influence life or does life influence art. Plato believed art imitated life; and Aristotle believed that

life imitated art. For Plato, life is spent in balance and if that balance is interrupted life wouldn't be

perfect. Reason helps keep a person in balance, therefore he stated that if emotions took over reason

would be deleted and an imbalance would occur. Aristotle believed that art was good for a person

because it would allow them to act out their emotions in anger etc, get rid of the emotions, and go

home calm. He stated that plays become moral learning experience. Thus bringing on the topic of

how violence influences us.

Does violent tv shows, movies, video games, etc influence people to commit violence, or

does it allow them to act out their aggressions in a safe environment? Aristotle takes a vicarious

viewpoint stating that is healthy to give out, or live out emotions (mad, sad etc) in a safe

environment. Therefore, stating that it is ok for kids, or anyone to watch these violent plays etc.

Plato believed in censorship because he said that people shouldn't be trusted to know what is good

or bad for them.

Both of these viewpoints have similarities and differences. If you read a little bit further

down in the text, Aristotle also says although violent things in movies etc can be good for children,

he and psychologist who take this viewpoint do not support excessive amounts of violence

protrayals. Which, on the other hand, agrees with Plato's viewpoint that too much of violence isn't

good; we should use some type of censorship.

But what we have to question is, If Aristotle was alive today in this generation, will he still

have the same view point. Back in the ancient roman times these plays where put on twice a year not

being able to be displayed 24 hours a day. I think that...
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