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Foundations of Science

, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 61–102 | Cite as

Mimesis and the Representation of Reality: A Historical World View

  • Ernest Mathijs
  • Bert Mosselmans
Article

Abstract

The representation of reality is a fundamental concept in the perception of theworld. Its historical consideration leads to an understanding of historical andcontemporary culture. In this paper we specifically investigate theanthropometric stage of cultural development as a historical world view. Wedefine this stage on the basis of René Girard's hypotheses on the origin ofculture, and we isolate its principles. Next, we consider the function of art asthe representation of cultural values. We investigate the three major motivesof artistic representation in the anthropometric stage, i.e. beauty, dramatizationand mimesis. We show how and why these motives play an essential partin the obfuscation and explanation of the origin of culture. Finally, we showhow these developments are dealt with in the aesthetics of Plato and Aristotle.

cultural anthropology aesthetics literary criticism art history philosophy art criticism 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ernest Mathijs
    • 1
  • Bert Mosselmans
    • 1
  1. 1.Center Leo Apostel and Faculty of EconomicsVrije UniversiteitBrusselBelgium

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