Plato Revision

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  • PLATO!
    • Everything that we see around us is imperfect
    • The cave analogy
      • Prisoners are unphilosophical, unthinking people...live in the changing word of appearances, limited to sense perceptions of the world and accept what they see in front of them - no knowledge of the Forms
        • Known as 'sight lovers'
      • Shadows represent the ordinary, everyday, changing world of appearances - the world that is apprehended through sense perceptions (which are poor and unreliable reflections of the deeper realities of life
      • People walking past the cave: true realities of the world of ideas - the ideal Forms...they're unchanging, eternal and perfect and everything in the material world is a pale reflection of them
      • Escaped prisoner: the philosopher who has developed his intellect to move beyond the changing world of the senses - he understands the deeper reality of the world of the ideal Forms and knows that objects in the everyday world are reflections
      • Light of the Sun: represents the 'shining' Form of the Good
      • Prisoners' hostility towards returned escapee (who throw rocks at him) symbolises that we do not recognise our need to be enlightened
    • The Forms
      • Invisible
      • Perfect
      • Changeless
      • Eternal
      • The highest and most fundamental kind of reality
      • Only things that can provide us with genuine knowledge
      • Everybody came into contact with them (existed in the realm of the Forms) before birth
        • This is why we immediately recognise material objects as shadows or reflections of the Forms
      • Most pure compared to all of the types of them in the material world
      • Examples: The Forms are ABSTRACT CONCEPTS
        • Justice
        • Truth
        • Beauty
          • WHY CAN'T I SAY THAT SOMETHING IS BEAUTY ITSELF?
            • We can acknowledge that something is beautiful due to having existed in the realm of the Forms...
              • But we cannot label a person or object 'beauty itself' because we have never experienced the ultimate form of beauty...
                • Beauty itself does not depend on our senses...
                  • But our opinions of 'beautiful' things always change depending on time and culture
                    • They also change based on personal opinion, which is why the Form is objective
        • Equality
        • Holiness
        • Courage
        • Order and symmetry
      • THE FORM OF THE GOOD
        • HIERARCHY of Forms...Forms of objects (e.g chairs), Forms of concepts (e.g. beauty/justice), Form of the Good
        • A more perfect, changeless and eternal version of the Forms
        • Ultimate Form of existence and perfection
        • SUPREME
        • Passes on and reflects its existence and perfection (in the Forms and their types)
        • GOD!!!
      • MENTAL PHENOMENA THAT ARE NON-PHYSICAL
    • PLATO'S DUALISM
      • Believed in 2 worlds - material world and world of the Forms
      • Dualism = the Forms as the first thing, second thing is that mind and body are NOT identical
        • Plato believed that only our MIND and SOUL are important in helping us to believe in more real, perfect world
      • Our mind provides us with genuine knowledge (knowledge of the Forms) and real knowledge, which comes from doing philosophy
      • OUR SOUL IS IMMORTAL
      • Our souls were presented with the Forms before we were born so they help us reason and gain true knowledge as well as identify reflections of the Forms - reasoning helps remind us of the Forms, so the job of the soul is to keep alive the idea of a more perfect world rather than the material world
      • Our body simply comprises our senses, which deceive us by tricking us into believing that the material world is reality

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