Philosophy of Religion

  • Created by: CatV
  • Created on: 15-05-19 16:56

 Ancient Philosophical Influences

Key Terms
Forms- Plato’s term for ideal concepts
Rationalist- Knowledge comes from reason, a priori (Plato)
Dualism- Belief reality can be divided in two, e.g. good/bad, physical/spiritual
Empiricist- Knowledge is gained from sense experience, a posteriori (Aristotle)
Aetion- Explanatory Factor, the reasoning or cause for something
Telos – End or purpose of something


The Forms

·     Are ideal, eternal single versions of things found on earth; perfect versions.

·     Found in Realm of the Forms, a wholly spiritual realm, for Plato the only truly real place, the true reality.

·     Form of the Good is the highest forms of any; all forms have goodness as they participate in the Good. Form of Good brings enlightenment to the rational mind.

·     Invisible and intangible but are known to the mind.



·     Realm of Forms: inhibited by souls and true beings in themselves

·     Realm of Appearances: this world where things look less like their originals, which are in the Realm of Forms.

·     Highly influential upon Christian ideas of heaven. [Death and Afterlife]

Plato’s Simile of the Divided Line
Representative of the 4 stages and levels of cognition.

·      Metaphysical view: world is not real and that the real world is an unchanging world of Forms.

·      Epistemology, knowledge is a priori, the senses only provide a posteriori opinions and shadows.

·     Politics, Philosopher Kings.

·     Ethics, only philosophers are able to see what is good.


Plato’s Analogy of the Cave

·     Through the gain of experiences, empirical knowledge is inferior to knowledge gained through knowledge of the forms. Through a priori reasoning we can unlock reality. 

·     Prisoners knowing nothing but their imprisonment, accept sense experience at face value, e.g. the shadows and the 1 prisoner who is freed and sees the real objects. 

·     The prisoner who leaves the cave is enlightened by the Form of the Good, the brightness of sun (truth) meant it took a while to look directly at world around therefore a while to see true world order

·     Returns to enlighten other prisoners who deny him as is beyond their understanding, his eyes are unable to readjust after the brightness. Is killed by others. Death of enlightened one is parallel to death of tutor Socrates who was put to death for speaking unwanted ‘truths’.

·     Plato tries to show how true philosophical insight is mistaken by the supposed insight from sensory gain. 


Aristotle’s Objections to Plato

·     Multiple forms of good exist rather than single good. A good human has different qualities to a good horse; a good harpist could be a bad person. A rifle is good in its ability to shoot but bad in its ability to kill people.

·     The Forms have no practical value

·     Numbers supposedly have no form, but only forms of oneness, twoness, threeness etc.  if there is infinity of numbers then there


No comments have yet been made