Explain The Criticisms Of Plato's Theory Of The Forms.

1605 words - 6 pages

Plato's theory of forms, also called his theory of ideas, states that there is another world, separate from the material world that we live in called the "eternal world of forms". This world, to Plato, is more real than the one we live in. His theory is shown in his Allegory of the Cave (from The Republic, Book VII), where the prisoners only live in what they think is a real world, but really it is a shadow of reality. According to Plato, to the prisoners in the allegory and to humanity in the material world "truth would be literally nothing but shadows" and he believes us to be as ignorant as the people in the cave. Plato followed the belief that in order for something to be real it has to be permanent, and as everything in the world we live in is constantly changing, he assumed there must be something else. In his eternal world of forms, there is an ideal form of every object there is in this world. Plato answers the question "what is beauty?" by discovering the essence of true beauty. The reason one recognises something has being beautiful is because we have an innate knowledge of something that is beauty, i.e. we know of the form of true beauty in the eternal world of forms, and everything we see compares to that. Something is only beautiful if it shares characteristics with the form of beauty in the other world. The most important form is the form of the good, portrayed by the sun in the allegory of the cave.Aristotle was Plato's main critic and was once a pupil of Plato. Aristotle and many other philosophers who came after Plato criticised Plato's view that these ideal forms had an independent existence. Many people believe that there must be something to which we compare all objects and something that makes something what it is and not something else. But that doesn't mean that it exists separate from our bodies. Plato does not prove, or even try and prove that these perfect forms are self-evident. It is Plato's disability to prove this that causes people to criticise his theory. As Aristotle was one of his pupils, he does not totally reject Plato's theory but argues that it may not be the only logical reason towards how something is classified.Another criticism made by Aristotle. Linked to the previous one is that Aristotle does not believe that there can be an ideal form of Disease, or Dirt, or anything bad. If these things are unwanted then how can there be a perfect form of these? A perfect form of disease would be one that does not harm anybody, and doesn't cause death or suffering. Some concepts fit Plato's system in better ways than others. For example, mathematical concepts are easier for us to understand than others. How are we to know what the ideal dog is like? Is it tall, short, fat, or skinny? The perfect form of a circle fits into his theory as we know what a perfect circle would be like. It is hard to believe that there is a perfect form of a piece of paper, or a plastic bag. But, as can be seen, this criticism is again not...

Find Another Essay On Explain the Criticisms of Plato's Theory of the Forms.

Characterise and assess Plato's theory of forms/essences in the first half of the Phaedo (up to 95e)

2848 words - 11 pages the admiration of the jailor for Socrates beautifully illustrates, what is, a moving and extremely touching work. (2) That it is a wonderful piece of pure literature is beyond doubt, yet it also contains a wealth of philosophical material. The central theme in the Phaedo is the immortality of the soul. Subordinate to this claim yet ubiquitous throughout the text is Plato's theory of Forms and it is in this dialogue that they are given their

explain the forms of utilitarianism Essay

726 words - 3 pages AS Religious Studies Revision: UtilitarianismAO1 Material: i.e. 'what goes in part a)?'What type of ethical theory is it?Teleological: it aims to bring about a greater good. It looks at what your ethical action is aimed at bringing about, rather than deontological ethics which focuses on the intrinsic rightness or wrongness of actions.Consequentialist: it looks at the consequences of actions, not the actions themselves. An action is deemed 'good

explain the main forms of utilitarianism

989 words - 4 pages Carys Jones 26th March 2014EXPLAIN THE MAIN PRINCIPLES OF CLASSICAL FORMS OF UTILITARIANISMUtilitarianism is the idea that the greatest good for the greatest number, so the action that causes the most number of people, pleasure or happiness. It is a teleological theory of ethics, as it is more concerned with the outcome rather than the act. It is also relative and subjective. Utilitarianism is a consequentialist theory as it decides whether an


355 words - 2 pages I. Introduction A. Hello Classmates My name is Sonjette White. I am 43 years old. I am married with two daughters and one grandson. I am a sophomore pursuing a degree in Social and Behavior Science. B. My family is my life. There is nothing that I would not do for them. I have recently come back to school to peruse my passion. Both of my girls have left the house so now I’m ready to do something for me. C. I am a 43-year-old college student

Plato's Cave : The reality of Plato - Branksome Hall - Theory of Knowledge essay on Plato's Cave

678 words - 3 pages him even though he tried to educate people. Nevertheless, he was in danger of being executed. By this fact, I have a question about the opinion of enlightened educating people. Should they take the risk even though they have the chance to die? Does it have to be a mission for the enlightened? In Plato’s theory, the cave represents people who believe that knowledge comes from what we see and hear in the world – empirical evidence. The cave shows

Plato's Theory of Knowledge

1276 words - 5 pages Plato's Theory of Knowledge Plato's Theory of Knowledge is very interesting. He expresses this theory with three approaches: his allegory of The Cave, his metaphor of the Divided Line and his doctrine The Forms. Each theory is interconnected; one could not be without the other. Here we will explore how one relates to the other. In The Cave, Plato describes a vision of shackled prisoners seated in a dark cave facing the wall

Plato's Theory of Education

1015 words - 4 pages Humanity is in a constant process to better themselves, as a result of their self-transcending nature. This intuitive quality pushes the soul to speculate on virtue and therefore, think philosophically. Achieving the highest form of philosophical thought will only occur if the individual has first been engaged in Plato's Theory of Education. Though Plato argued that “the power and capacity of learning exists in the soul already” (VII), he also

Critique Of Plato's Theory

951 words - 4 pages Critique of Plato's Theory In Plato's writings he addresses the issue of knowledge. How can one know things if not introduced to them by experience? Thus, Plato claimed that all knowledge was gained through experience. Not only is it derived from experience, but it is also a changing thing. Everything in life changes, therefore people's knowledge will change. Different people who live in different times and areas will know different

Explain the theory of Virtue Ethics

1022 words - 4 pages Aristotle originally introduced virtue Ethics to society in ancient Greek times. Virtue Ethics tells us that we should look at the character of the person instead of the actions or duties a person performs. Instead of concentrating on what is the right thing to do, virtue ethics asks how you can be a better person. Aristotle claims that leading a virtuous life is easy, and those who do, do so to be happy. Happiness is the ultimate goal for

Plato’s Theory of Forms

2218 words - 9 pages after them, the physical inanimate objects, for example a book or a chair. Ultimately, the theory of Forms is intended to explain how one comes to know and also how things have come to be as they are. In philosophical language, Plato's theory of Forms is both theory of knowledge and theory of being. The people who have the most knowledge of this will be philosophers, so they should rule. We can get to gain ‘real

Explain what is meant by verification and falsification, in the context of religious language? Evaluate their criticisms of religious language

1844 words - 7 pages not everyone has the same “blik”. Religious beliefs are “bliks” because of the impact they have on the way in which people look at the world and live their lives. Further criticisms were added by Karl Popper who argued that it was not only the fact that a statement was verifiable which gave it meaning, it was also whether it was falsifiable. Popper is not here proposing an alternative theory of meaning, but simply pointing out

Similar Essays

Plato "The Republic" Explain And Evaluate Plato's Theory Of Knowledge

1148 words - 5 pages Plato's triangular theory of knowledge expounded in "The Republic" has acted as one of the most important contributions in philosophical history - particularly to the field of epistemology. Plato uses three powerful metaphors to explain what knowledge and goodness are: The simile of the sun, the image of the divided line, and the most famous of all, the allegory of the cave. The study of epistemology is primarily concerned with what knowledge is

Explain The Relationship Between Plato's Form Of The Good And The Other Forms

1377 words - 6 pages Alice ChapmanExplain the relationship between Plato's form of the good and the other Forms (25)Plato believed that behind every concept or object in the visible world, that there is an unseen reality which he calls its Form. However things such as number and evil don't have a form. The forms may be seen as an ideal image for the particular earthly examples (beauty and trees etc) which Plato calls particulars. He emphasised that the Form's exist

An Essay On Plato's Theory Of Forms

1022 words - 4 pages Plato's theory of forms is strongly based on what is real and what is not. What is real is thought to be perfect, but something cannot be real or perfect if it is always changing. He explains that the "World of forms" is very different to the "World of appearances". The "World of forms" can only be properly understood by philosophers and those who seek knowledge, not by the ignorant or those who do not wish to learn the truth. The theory of

Essay On Plato's Theory Of The Forms Westminster School Hakluyts Essay

1835 words - 8 pages ‘Plato’s theory of the Forms does not adequately explain reality’ Plato argues that our reality (as in the state of the physical world which we understand and know to exist) is not the ‘real world’, simply a reflection of the ultimate reality that exists beyond our physical world. In his dialogue ‘the Republic’ he asserts that there are two realms or realities; the physical realm being the reality that we can interact with on the quotidian and