Explain Plato's Theory of the Forms


a)     Explain Plato’s Theory of the Forms


Plato was a Greek philosopher in 430BC. Plato was himself a student of Socrates and later taught the famous philosopher Aristotle. Plato himself was a rationalist relying on reason alone rather than observations and experience for the best source of obtaining true knowledge. Plato used a priori knowledge which is knowledge gained through reason alone. The book ‘The Republic’ is where Plato mentions about his theory of the forms.

Plato is a Dualist - believing that there are two separate worlds, and that humans are separated into two distinctive parts, the physical body (which is temporary) and the Soul (which is eternal). Dualism is that the idea that the body and soul remain joined together in life in this world and in death they separate. Plato believed that the soul is linked to the world of the forms and that the body is linked only to the Physical world.

The forms are the perfect version of everything that exists in this world from complicated concepts like beauty, justice and truth to something as simple as a tree, or a table and a chair. Everything in this realm is a imperfect replica of its form. The forms are Immutable, Transcendent, and Eternal and immaterial; they exist in an eternal realm outside of empirical knowledge, these will be unbound by physical concepts form our world such as time and space. The forms are perfect because they are real – they do not change unlike objects in our world which are in a state of constant change (like decay and ageing) object in this world our simply imperfection copies of the perfect forms.

Plato’s version of god the demiurge, created the physical world out of pre existing physical material he called


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