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We live in a world of appereances. The real world is the world of the forms.

A form is

  • An idea of what something is
  • They are unchaning- because they are a concept
  • The form of the good is the best form
  • At birth we have a very dim memory of forms so we know
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Cave analogy

  • People chained- society, they are us. (We live in an illusionary world)
  • Statues are the images of forms
  • The people carrying them are the 'stupid philosophers?'
  • Freedom is forced on the prisoner
  • The prisoner starts to see- distinguising forms from images
  • Prisoner sees sun- form of the good
  • Prisoner feels obliged to go and teach others, but they laugh at him
  • It raises the question- who should rule society?


  • Forms can only just be ideas in our mind!
  • It's like passing on ideas, if you die they die unless you pass them on. Richard Dawkins 'selfish gene' idea of 'memes'
  • Are their forms of strange things, are there forms of deoderant?
  • Plato only talks about concepts
  • Forms can not be proved
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