Maarten Maartensz:    Philosophical Dictionary | Filosofisch Woordenboek                      

 I - Imitation


Imitation: Copy, acting as if, simulacrum, likeness, especially if what is said to be the imitation is a likeness of a thing that exists already.

There is, for the human mind, a wide variety of imitations of things: In looks, in behavior, in acting and more. For the human mind, often one or a few attributes of something remind one of something else that has the same attributes, for which reason the one is a copy of another, though it need not be an exact copy at all to count as a likeness or imitation: What matters is whether one understands the likeness, rather than that there are few differences between the two things that are understood to be alike.

Also, as mimesis, which is imitation in Greek, it has for a long time been the ideal and a standard of art - "natura artis magistra" - at least of the pictorial kind: How realistic is the imitation. Then again, this failed as a standard, except perhaps as a measure of the artist's technical abilities, even when the standard was accepted, because realistic art also tends to imagine things as better and/or more interesting than they are in reality.



See also: Art, Isomorphism, Kinds


 Original: Jan 24, 2012                                                Last edited: 08 February 2012.   Top