Plato's Theory of the Forms

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  • Created by: T Colby
  • Created on: 27-03-16 23:40
What did Plato emphasize as the source of knowledge?
The world of ideas.
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Who did Plato teach?
Aristotle.
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Where did Plato believe Forms existed?
In the Metaphysical world which is the real world. Not this world.
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What are the strengths of Plato's Theory of the Forms?
Proves imperfections in our world, encourages open mindedness about the world around us and encourages deeper understanding and questioning rather than just accepting what politicians say.
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What are the weaknesses of Plato's Theory of the Forms?
No evidence to prove the world of the Forms exists, our five senses have served us well throughout evolution, not everyone agrees on the form of beauty so we can't use these ideas to base our knoweldge on.
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Give Wittgenstein's argument against Plato's Theory of the Forms.
One over many could be explained by family resemblance. You look like your siblings and in the same way there is a common property that all beautiful things possess. There is actually overlapping properties. This is the family resemblance idea.
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Give Aristotle's Third Man Argument against Plato's Theory of the Forms.
If the Form is the thing that all particulars share in then there would not logically need to be a Form of the Form. The Form and the particulars share this. How about a Form of the Form of the Form etc.
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Give cultural relativism against Plato's Theory of the Forms.
We are a product of our upbringing and our society. There may be widespread agreement on some values but there are cultures where morality and art differs significantly from our own. There is no ideal standard or Form, just a lot of opinions.
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Give an argument supporting Plato's Theory of the Forms.
Unless there is something which is an unchanging perfect standard it is not possible to compare and rank particular things. It makes no sense to argue that there is no ideal standard of goodness, beauty and wisdom. There are intuitive answers.
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Give some further criticisms of Plato's Theory of the Forms.
Too many Forms (are there Forms for objects that have not been invented yet), bad Forms (why is beauty just a lack of ugliness?) and the problem of incorporation (there would be a Form of a triangle and Forms of the straight lines within it).
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Who did Plato teach?

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Aristotle.

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Where did Plato believe Forms existed?

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What are the strengths of Plato's Theory of the Forms?

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Card 5

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What are the weaknesses of Plato's Theory of the Forms?

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