Plato AS Philosophy

Theory of forms...etc

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What are the forms?

Many objects have the same properties (eg beauty).

These properties can exist independently of the objects (if we destroy all beautiful things we do not destroy beauty).

These properties are the "forms". The forms are perfect, timeless and permanent.

The forms are superior to particular objects.

Objects exist by participating in the forms (and object is beautiful because it participates or partakes in the form of beauty).

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Briefly explain and illustrate three properties of

Self-predictaton: the form of beauty is in itself beautiful, but in a different way to all other beautiful things.

Independence from Particulars: each form is its own essence, completely independent of the things which partake in it.

Perfection:the form of beauty is the perfect example of itself, nothing is more beautiful than beauty, there is no way in which the form is not beautiful.

Permanence:forms do not change.

Simplicity: the forms are 'one', the form of beauty is the only beautiful form. HOWEVER each form is good and the form of the good is the form of forms.

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The difference between knowledge and opinion.

True knowledge is of the forms.

Knowledge is infallible. Opinion is fallible.

Knowledge is of what is real. Ignorance is of what is not real. Opinion is of what is between what is real and not real.

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The Cave.

The Cave = The world of the senses

Prisoners = People who believe 'second hand'

Images on the wall = Illusion

The fire= The (physical) sun or what enables us to have experience

Seeing the fire and the people on the road = Belief

Outside the cave= the intelligible world (reality)

Looking at reflections of objects outside the cave = reasoning

Looking at objects outside the cave = intelligence

The sun = the form of the good

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The Divided Line

Knowledge Intelligence/Full understanding Forms

Knowledge Reasoning Mathematics

Opinion Belief Physical things

Opinion Illusion Shadows, images and relfections

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The Simile of the Sun

The visible world = The intelligible world (the forms)

The Sun = The form of the good

The eye= The mind (reason)

Sight = intelligence

To see = to know

Light = truth

Growth= the being (reality) of the forms

Unless there is light, our eyes cannot see, even though they have the power of sight. It is only in the presence of light, which comes from the sun, that we can see. The sun also causes growth and is the cause of sight. Sight is a power that eyes get from the sun. The sun is not sight, the sun is not is their cause, it is 'higher' than them.

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