‘Plato doesn't value experience enough’. Discuss. (10)


b) ‘Plato doesn’t value experience enough’. Discuss. (10)


The key questions are whether Plato does undervalue experience and whether he is correct in assuming this. In one sense Plato appears correct in his assessment that the physical world cannot give us answers to ‘what is it?' questions. ‘What is it that makes something beautiful or just?' doesn't seem to be able to be answered by pointing at one thing in the physical world because that one thing doesn't explain the whole concept, only part. Plato was influenced by Heraclitanism that states something is no more ‘X' than it is ‘Y'. This taught Plato that anything in the physical realm or the realm of experience cannot provide true knowledge as every object is in a relational state with other objects in the universe. This means that it doesn't make sense to say someone is ‘short' or ‘tall' because there can be millions of examples when that individual is ‘shorter' than something or ‘taller' than something else. This suggests that Plato is correct not to value experience enough.

However, empiricists such as Hume and Aristotle might argue that Plato doesn't give enough credit to experience. Hume may argue that Plato's ideas are counterintuitive as the physical realm and sense experience appear far more real than this spiritual World of Forms. When I cut my finger I feel the pain and experience the sensation of blood passing out of my body, I may even feel queasy at the sight of blood. These experiences are tangible, concrete and


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