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The Stoic Theory of Beauty$
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Aiste Celkyte

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781474461610

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474461610.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 27 September 2021

Aesthetics in Stoicism and Stoicism in Aesthetics

Aesthetics in Stoicism and Stoicism in Aesthetics

Chapter:
(p.171) 7 Aesthetics in Stoicism and Stoicism in Aesthetics
Source:
The Stoic Theory of Beauty
Author(s):

Aistė Čelkytė

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474461610.003.0007

The Stoic definition of beauty and the way in which beauty vocabulary is used in various arguments are remarkably consistent. This coherence suggests that the Stoic engagement with this area of philosophy must have been thorough and substantial. The chapter also presents a discussion of various prominent beauty theories in antiquity and compares them with the Stoic views. The figures discussed include Polycleitus, Vitruvius, Philolaus of Croton, Plato, Aristotle. The comparisons show that the Stoic definition of beauty as summetria was a distinct theory that accounted for aesthetic properties in reductive terms, that is, as a functional structure. It rivalled the Platonic accounts in which Forms played the central role. Plotinus’ attack on Stoicism shows that this rivalry lasted for a long time, and that while Platonism dominated the philosophical scene in late antiquity, Stoic views survived in other contexts. An analysis of the account of beauty found in the medical writings of Galen is used to support this claim.

Keywords:   Stoicism, Polycleitus, Vitruvius, Philolaus of Croton, Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus, Galen

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