Introduction: Cave Analogy
- The Republic
- Cave = our/empirical world, Outside = real world, realm of the Forms
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What are the Forms?
- Blueprints to everything on Earth
- Essence of everything
- Archetype for things that exist
Where are they?
- The "real world", instead of our world of appearances
What are they like?
- Unchanging and perfect
- Non-physical and transcendent
- Eternal, timeless and immortal
How do we know about them?
- Known through intellect, generally philosophers are the ones in the know
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How do they differ to the Particulars?
- Many Particulars
- Particulars = known through senses, Forms = known through intellect
- Always changing into something else
- Material objects
- Always coming in and out of existence
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Hierarchy of the Forms
- Bottom = Physical inanimate objects
- Physical living objects
- Concepts and ideals
- Universal qualities (eg. justice, truth and beauty)
- Top = The Form of the Good
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Form of the Good
- Makes things knowable
- Source of the other Forms
- Represented by the sun in the Cave allegory
- Enables us to understand and assess things
- Analogy of sight = requires both light and the eye to see, light symbolises light, as without it one cannot see clearly.
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- Unclear link between the Forms and the world of Appearances
- No proof
- Form of the Forms?
- One of Plato's most important theories
- Form of the Good similar to the idea of a monotheistic God/higher deity.
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