Plato's Forms

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  • Plato's Forms
    • Behind every concept or object there is an unseen reality.. a Form
    • We are aware of the Forms due to our intelligence and reason
    • Forms are UNCHANGING, TIMELESS AND ETERNAL
    • The world of appearances = the world we live in, it is contingent and imperfect
      • The real world = world of forms which is perfect and unchanging, there is one of every form
        • Plato's Forms
          • Behind every concept or object there is an unseen reality.. a Form
          • We are aware of the Forms due to our intelligence and reason
          • Forms are UNCHANGING, TIMELESS AND ETERNAL
          • The world of appearances = the world we live in, it is contingent and imperfect
            • The real world = world of forms which is perfect and unchanging, there is one of every form
            • E.g. you can recognise a cat because you know what a cat is, there are many types of cat but they all conform to the idea of what a cat is
            • We know the forms through our minds
            • The particulars [in this world] are imperfect copies of the forms
            • The ultimate form is the form of the good and just as the sun gives light to our world, the form of the good illuminates other forms
              • Plato believed there was a hierarchy of forms - THE FORM OF GOOD MAKES POSSIBLE EXISTENCE OF OTHER FORMS - SIMILAR TO CHRISTIAN GOD?
            • Strengths
              • Explains why we recognise the same essential elements in something
              • Helps us to understand the imperfections and evil around us and is a possible solution for the problem of evil
              • Encourages us to question in order to learn and not accept things at face value
              • Recognises that human beings are more than just materialistic
            • Weaknesses
              • Surely plato needs a form of the forms and a form of that [infinite regression]
              • The existence of the realm of forms may not be an obvious conclusion of logical reasoning
              • Plato does not make it clear how the two worlds relate
              • There is no proof that we recognise forms due to our previous existence
              • Richard Dawkins = forms can just be ideas in the mind being spread from person to person like a virus
              • Are there forms of everything? [bus tickets, deodorant]
      • E.g. you can recognise a cat because you know what a cat is, there are many types of cat but they all conform to the idea of what a cat is
      • We know the forms through our minds
      • The particulars [in this world] are imperfect copies of the forms
      • The ultimate form is the form of the good and just as the sun gives light to our world, the form of the good illuminates other forms
        • Plato believed there was a hierarchy of forms - THE FORM OF GOOD MAKES POSSIBLE EXISTENCE OF OTHER FORMS - SIMILAR TO CHRISTIAN GOD?
      • Strengths
        • Explains why we recognise the same essential elements in something
        • Helps us to understand the imperfections and evil around us and is a possible solution for the problem of evil
        • Encourages us to question in order to learn and not accept things at face value
        • Recognises that human beings are more than just materialistic
      • Weaknesses
        • Surely plato needs a form of the forms and a form of that [infinite regression]
        • The existence of the realm of forms may not be an obvious conclusion of logical reasoning
        • Plato does not make it clear how the two worlds relate
        • There is no proof that we recognise forms due to our previous existence
        • Richard Dawkins = forms can just be ideas in the mind being spread from person to person like a virus
        • Are there forms of everything? [bus tickets, deodorant]

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