Philosophy - Plato and Aristotle

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  • Created by: Sav
  • Created on: 11-02-14 12:05
The World of Forms is...
Perfect, everlasting and outside space and time
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Believes that the body is irrelevant and the sould is important/good
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Another word for World of Appearances
Phenemena/The Paticulars
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What was Plato interested in?
Virtues, not material things
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The particulars
participate in the forms, but NOT perfectly. Changing and imperfect. Only apparent. Both real and unreal.
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Forms are
eternal, perfect + outside of space and time, perfectly real. In an unseen reality. Source of all knowledge. Immaterial and can't be detected by the sneses. They are different to the visible world (dependant of physical matter) but relate to it.
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True knowledge depends not on
what we can see/measure/learn BUT by going beyond the senses and understand the forms
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Knowledge comes from
contemplating the forms ONLY - opinion is all we can get from particulars (mixture of knowledge/reality and unknowledge/unreality) - what is unreal is nothing and you can't know nothing
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Plato believes in a former life our sould had access to the forms and so we can recognise them in the particulars. Recollection is important not observation. We can innate knowledge of the forms that can be developed through rational thought.
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Form of the Good
Most important of all forms; source of all other forms and enables us to understand/assess things better
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We live in a
World of Appearances - made up of imitations/shadows of forms
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World of Forms
Real world
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epitomise what it means to be that thing
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is immortal and gets incarnated into our body
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Strengths for theory of the forms
1. Helps us to understand/embrace imperfections in our world and gives reasons for childrens instinctive knowledge. 2. Teaches us that there are more important things thanour senses & desires. 3. Could prove there is a soul
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Strengths for theory of the forms cont.
4. Positive way of thinking-we're participating in eternal perfection. 5. Some believe without forms we ould not form the basis of an argument; they are the standard. 6. More 'out there' than we think/know. 7. We still quote Plato's theory even now.
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Weaknesses for theory of the forms
1. Are there forms of bad things: world of forms no longer idyllic. 2. Can't relate as Plato doesn't show real world well enough. 3. Directly opposses much of science; impossible to prove. 4. Forms are subjective.
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Weaknesses for theory of the forms cont.
5. Are there forms where only one exists-not same as particular?Form for every microbe?(yes but unchanging and Plato interested in concepts). 6. Doesn't help us with THIS world-differences EG time/space limits 7. Plato implies senses useless but not.
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Weaknesses for theory of the forms cont.
8. Plato has not clearly defined goodness; opinion? 9. No proof. Outside space and time=impossible
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Analogy of the cave
1. Prisoners under ground chained & can only see wall. 2. Behind them is wall which has others talking and carrying statues above heads behind wall. 3. Only light is fire which projects statues shadows onto wall. Prisoners believe shadows=reality
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Analogy of cave cont.
4. Supposes prisoner dragged to freedom-too bright; can't see.Confused. Wants to return. 5. sign returns; contemplates sun. Returns out of duty. 6. Eyes take time to adjust. Others laugh at him and say they would kill him
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What does the prisoners underground and chained represent?
They're away from true knowledge, imprisoned in illusory world of senses-society controls us/closes mind. Prisoners -society
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What do shadows and people creating them represent?
Particulars/phenomena. People symbolise leaders of society that don't know anymore than prisoners but lead people to believe phenomena is reality
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What does the prisoners release represent?
Philosophers must try to help others as it's too hard to reach the World Of Forms alone. Hard job trying to release prisoner. Plato had to try and force his beliefs through. People are naturally conservative
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What does the prisoners sight represent?
He can gradually see and understand forms by learning to block out restrictive senses. Becomes a philosopher when contemplates sun. Eyes take time to adjust hgihlights significant difference between worlds
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The Sun
Source of all life above cave, indirectly, source of everything in cave. Represents Form Of Good -all other forms participate in goodness. Can't survive without sun. Warm and good. He wants to stay there
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What does the philosophers return represent?
Duty Plato felt to enlighten others. Philosophers correct people to lead; only people in touch with World of Forms and can lead with true knowledge. Good of nation-no ignorance and informed by knowledge of forms.
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What does the cave represent?
Human body that imprisons soul
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What does fire represent?
Imitation of the sun/goodness
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Criticisms of cave analogy
1. Analogy is only as good as theory of the forms. 2. Plato says that just knowing forms makes one a suitable ruler; surely better to DO good than know it.3. can't relate as doesn't show real world well enough.
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The conclusion does not logically follow reasoning. Like contradictory.
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Card 2




Believes that the body is irrelevant and the sould is important/good

Card 3


Another word for World of Appearances


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Card 4


What was Plato interested in?


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Card 5


The particulars


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