Plato

Ancient Philosophical Influences: Plato

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  • Plato
    • Plato's influences
      • Socrates c.469-399 BC
        • Plato's teacher
          • taught through asking questions and probing the answers
        • death caused Plato to become outraged gov. + pursue career in philo
      • Heraclitus c.535-475 BC
        • Plato disagreed with him.
        • 'You cannot stem into the same stream twice'
          • P. said things must be fixed & certain so we can have fixed & certain knowledge
            • Plato disagreed with him.
      • Pythagorus c.570-495 BC
        • Was fascinated by mathematics
          • Logical thinking & work influenced P.
        • Pythagoreans made a distinction between material body and soul.
          • Logical thinking & work influenced P.
    • Understanding of reality
      • Rationalist
        • a priori knowledge
      • recognised that the world is constantly changing
        • cannot gain true knowledge from empirical world
          • there musts be fixed, permanent word we can gain true knowledge from
          • the impermanent world that we know (experience with the senses)
        • there musts be fixed, permanent word we can gain true knowledge from
      • the Forms
        • criticisms
          • Richard Dawkins
            • It is nonsense to talk about a world beyond our own.
              • We can still study this world and gain useful knowledge
              • R + scientists
            • The Selfish Gene - 'memes'
              • passing on ideas - how we know about things (they have been taught to us)
          • AJ Ayer
            • goodness is non-cognitive & subjective  ? can't be one perfect form
            • P. assumes nouns, e.g beauty & truth, have a physical quality
              • A. + other philosophers
          • Karl Popper
            • P. wants certainty in an uncertain world. This does not mean that it exists in a anohter world
          • Aristotle
            • The third man argument
              • A man is a copy of the form of man. There must be a copy of this copy in the realm of the forms and a copy of this copy etc.
                • Is there infinite regress?
                • Every object has a copy in the realm of the forms
            • The forms serve no practical use
              • Knowledge of the form health is meaningless
                • no such thing as perfect health - relative to age
                • doesn't help a doctor in diagnosis
                  • practical knowledge more helpful
        • how can we recognise the forms?
          • Socrates asked a boy a question about geometry and he got it wrong
            • He answered the boy's questions until he got it right
              • he wasn't told the answer, he must've remembered the form of Algebra
          • we were born with a dim recollection of them form existence in that realm
            • P. believed in an eternal soul
            • he wasn't told the answer, he must've remembered the form of Algebra
        • the nature of the forms
          • they are the essence of a thing, their perfect state
          • the hierachy of the forms
            • Higher forms
              • Aspects of goodness e.g love, wisdom
            • The Form of the Good
              • Illuminates the other forms
            • Lower forms
              • more specific + closely related to material objects e.g form of softness
            • Physical objects (see divided line)
      • the realm of appearances
    • the Forms
      • criticisms
        • Richard Dawkins
          • It is nonsense to talk about a world beyond our own.
            • We can still study this world and gain useful knowledge
            • R + scientists
          • The Selfish Gene - 'memes'
            • passing on ideas - how we know about things (they have been taught to us)
        • AJ Ayer
          • goodness is non-cognitive & subjective  ? can't be one perfect form
          • P. assumes nouns, e.g beauty & truth, have a physical quality
            • A. + other philosophers
        • Karl Popper
          • P. wants certainty in an uncertain world. This does not mean that it exists in a anohter world
        • Aristotle
          • The third man argument
            • A man is a copy of the form of man. There must be a copy of this copy in the realm of the forms and a copy of this copy etc.
              • Is there infinite regress?
              • Every object has a copy in the realm of the forms
          • The forms serve no practical use
            • Knowledge of the form health is meaningless
              • no such thing as perfect health - relative to age
              • doesn't help a doctor in diagnosis
                • practical knowledge more helpful
      • how can we recognise the forms?
        • Socrates asked a boy a question about geometry and he got it wrong
          • He answered the boy's questions until he got it right
          • we were born with a dim recollection of them form existence in that realm
            • P. believed in an eternal soul
        • the nature of the forms
          • they are the essence of a thing, their perfect state
          • the hierachy of the forms
            • Higher forms
              • Aspects of goodness e.g love, wisdom
            • The Form of the Good
              • Illuminates the other forms
            • Lower forms
              • more specific + closely related to material objects e.g form of softness
            • Physical objects (see divided line)
      • The analogy of the cave
        • Interpretations
          • Political allegory
            • politicians are the puppet masters who manipulate unsuspecting public
            • the ones who made it out of the cave are 'Philosopher Kings' and are fit to run society
              • P. was very anti-gov after Soc. + he wanted philosophers in power.
          • A criticism of our lives
            • we are chained to superficialities & truth is what is known via senses
              • media are puppet masters
          • A criticism of science
            • too much emphasis on what is known via senses
        • what it represents
          • SHADOWS - our perception of what is real
            • OBJECTS - images of the forms
              • PUPPET MASTERS - not truly enlightened people that want power
                • they stop people from searching for the truth
          • FIRE -  unenlightened light (our sun)
            • SUN - the form of the good
          • PRISONERS - people trapped by limited understanding
            • FREE MAN - philosophers
          • CAVE - world of illusions
            • OUTSIDE WORLD - world of the forms, 'reality'
        • Some prisoners are chained to a wall and all they can see are shadows on the wall
          • One of the prisoners are released and is initially blinded by the fires that caused the shadows on the wall
            • He makes the difficult journey out of the cave and is blinded again by the sun. He now sees true reality
          • They had only known the shadows so they see them as their reality
      • Plato's timeline
        • c. 407 BC Plato met Socrates
          • Socrates c.469-399 BC
            • Plato's teacher
              • taught through asking questions and probing the answers
            • death caused Plato to become outraged gov. + pursue career in philo
        • c. 404 BC Athenian war with Sparta ended
          • democracy removed and 30 tyrants in charge (2 related to Plato)
            • was almost convinced to become a politician until he saw what the Spartans did
        • c. 399 BC Socrates sentenced to death for 'corrupting youth' - encouraging to think in new ways
          • Plato travels for 12 years, studying
        • c. 388 BC returned to Athens and founded the Academy
          • Plato travels for 12 years, studying
        • c. 365 BC Plato begins teaching Aristotle
      • c. 427-347 BC
      • the Republic

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