The concept of the simulacrum, meaning image, semblance, or appearance, has a long and complex history. The term simulacrum derives from the Latin simulare meaning to make like or simulate (plural form: simulacra), and the concept is central to Platonic philosophy, to Judeo-Christian theology, and to modern, critical thought, where the notion has been applied to the media and consumer culture. The simulacrum is often understood as constituting a “problem” because it raises the issues of falsity, fakery, and masquerade; simulacrum suggests mere appearance, that which is lacking in substance or true and essential qualities. For this reason, simulacra have long been associated with the devil and the malefic, with women and their use of cosmetics and artifice, and more generally with lies, distortion, and ...

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