From Plato and his Dialogues "The Republic"

“Will a painter, say, paint reins and bridle?” “But a saddler and a smith will make them?” “Certainly.”

“Does the painter know what the reins and the bridle ought to be like? Or is it the case that not even the smith and the saddler, who made them, know that, but only the horseman, the man who knows how to use them?” “Very true.”

“And shall we not say the same about everything?” “What?”

“That there are three arts concerned with each thing —one that uses, one that makes, and one that imitates?” “

“Then are the virtue and beauty and correctness of every manufactured article and living creature and action determined by any other consideration than the use for which each is designed by art or nature?” “Then it is quite inevitable that the user of each thing should have most experience of it, and should be the perso.n to inform the maker what are the good and bad points of the instrument as he uses it. For example, the flute-player informs the flute-maker about the flutes which are to serve him in his fluting; he will prescribe how they ought to be made. and the. maker will serve him” “Surely.”

‘ Then he who knows gives information about good and bad flutes, and the other will make them, relying on his statements?” “Yes.”

“Then the maker of any article will have a right belief concerning its beauty or badness, which he derives from his association with the knower, and from listening, as he is compelled to do, to what the knower says; but the user has knowledge?” “Certainly.”

“Now will the imitator have knowledge derived from use as to whether or not the subjects. which he paints are beautiful and right, or. will he have right belief derived from compulsory intercourse with the man who knows and from being told how he ought to depict them?” “Neither.” “Then the imitator will neither know nor have right belief concerning the beauty or the defects of the subjects of his imitation?” “Apparently not.” “Then the poetic imitator will be charming in his wisdom on the subjects of his poetry?”“Not so very charming.”

“For all that, he will imitate, without knowing wherein each thing is bad or good; but he will probably imitate what appears to be beautiful to ordinary and ignorant people?” Certainly.” “Then apparently we have come to a thorough agreement on this, that the imitative man has no knowledge of any value on the subjects of his imitation; that imitation is a form of amusement and not a serious occupation; and that those who write tragic poetry in iambics and hexameters are all imitators in the highest degree?”

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