Plato

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  • Created on: 22-04-13 22:04
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  • Plato
    • Analogy of the cave and what might be represented by: the prisoners, the shadows, the cave itself, the outside world, the sun, the journey out of the cave and the return to the prisoners.
      • By the analogy Plato wants us to understand:
        • That there is another world which we cannot see from the posituion that we are in, yet which we can reach and which will give us enlightment
        • The potential for true knowledge that philosophy brings
        • The initial difficulties of grappling with philosophy
        • The ignorance of humanity when people do not engage in philosophy
        • The hostility that people often feel when faced with philosophical ideas that challenge their previously held beliefs
        • They w3ays inn which material, physical concerns can blind people to what is really important
          • We live in a shadow world, imitates the world of forms
        • The injustice of the death of Socrates
        • The relation between the physical, material world and the higher world of forms
        • That education is a 'leading-0out'. It is not stuffing people's minds with information, but a drawing-out of things they already know and an encouragement for them to become new kinds of people
    • Understand what is meant by 'Forms'
      • Plato noted that the physical world is in constant change, things grow, decay, scratch, stain, fade in sunlight, darken with age, get warmer, cool down etc.
        • This causes a problem: how can one gain true knowledge if everything is always in a state of change?
        • They are contingent
      • Plato believed that there was a differnt world that was eternal and always stayed the same
      • We gain true knowledge through our reason
      • We gain knowledge of the physical world through our five senses. What we discover are imitation of ideal forms.
      • For example: we see someone doing an act of justice, we recognise it as justice because we know what 'true justice' is. The justice we see is not perfect justice, as nothing in the changing world is perfect. We have an inner understanding of the 'form of justice'
      • Example of the tree and even though it changes we recognise it is a tree
      • We have knowledge of the forms at birth, but we do not realise it. It is intuition, before we were born we must have experienced it.
        • This led Plato to the conclusion that we have immortal souls and must've been born into the world of 'Forms' before the physical world.
        • Forms are timeless, unchanging and beyond space
        • A Priori argument
    • the relation between the form of the good and other forms
      • To know the good is to do the good
      • All forms are related and are in a hierarchy
      • The most important of all the forms is the form of the good, which illluminates other formsand gives them value
        • Justice, wisdom, courage and beauty are all aspects of goodness
      • We recognise goodness because we understand the correspondence to our intuitive knowledge of the form of the good
        • We also recognise how we fall short of perfection
      • Countries should be ruled by philosopher kings, because they are lovers of wisdom, they teach others and set examples
      • Only ignorance leads to immorality, if someone steals they are ignorant of the form of honesty
      • Any good we see in the material world is a pale imitation of the Form of the Good
    • Greatly influenced by his teacher Socrates, after his death, Plato started to look at the world with new eyes.
  • Plato noted that the physical world is in constant change, things grow, decay, scratch, stain, fade in sunlight, darken with age, get warmer, cool down etc.
    • This causes a problem: how can one gain true knowledge if everything is always in a state of change?
    • They are contingent

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