Plato and Philosophy of Religion

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Theory of Forms:

The knowledge of what a this is precedes you actually seeing something eg a ct

Plato suggests that the world we live in is a world of APPEARANCES yet the real world is a world of FORMS

Characteristics of the forms:

Transcendent, Unchangeing, Archetype for all physical things, Immortal

Whatever we percieve in the real world is mortal eg the cat will die, yet what makes this cat important is the fact that it is related to its perfect FORM.

A FORM: the idea of what this thing is. There may be many types of something eg cats, yet they all relate back to this one FORM which allows us to identify that it is a cat.

This Form is unchangeing-Forms thus exist in a different reality.

The highests forms are that of beauty and goodness as all forms relate to these concepts on a certain scale. 

Our physical world is made up of only shadows and images, therefore all things are only reflections of their true form.

Plato argues that when we are born we have a dim recollection of these forms as we have an immortal soul which has transcended from the world of forms into our physical body. The knowledge of these forms is hidden behind the incarnation of the soul in the body.Evidence for this is the fact that we have to learn or be taught things. By being taught that lying is wrong you are simply REMEMBERING the form you have originated from.

Plato believes that philosophers have the highest knowledge of this world of forms as they try to escape from the world of appearances. They are also most suitable for ruling society. 

The most important Form, is the FORM OF THE GOOD-source of all forms. In the cave analogy, the sun represents the Form of the Good as it puts light on everything else. It is the…


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