Explain the Platonic concept for “forms”
Plato was a pupil of the philosopher Socrates, who was murdered for corrupting the youth of the city; he had been encouraging people to challenge the views and opinions of the city elders. Plato came up with an allegory of the cave, to explain the world we live in. the allegory suggested that people are ‘philosophically ignorant’ and are like the prisoners chained the floor of the cave. They can only see the shadows on the back of the cave; they are assuming that these shadows are in fact the whole of reality. The world outside represents the world of the forms; this is in a sense a perfect reality. The prisoner who escapes is like the person who achieves ‘philosophical enlightenment’ Plato’s forms are sorts, kinds or types of things. They were not created, and they do not do anything. They are simply ‘there’. The forms are timeless, unchanging and beyond space. So everything we see is almost an illusion, it is if our senses are fooling us. Plato is saying everything that we see cannot be in its perfect form. Plato says that the created world, which we live in and see, by contrast, is made of contingent, imperfect ‘stuff’, it is subject to change and decay. The idea of form and matter are central to Plato’s view of the world. There are two worlds the finite world. This is a shadow of the ‘real’ world of the form. In the finite world the material objects exist, subject to change and decay. They take their identity from the way that they conform to their corresponding idea in the world of the form. In the world of the form though the objects and concepts for the material world exist in a state of unchanging perfection.. it is then the job of the philosopher to break free from the shackles of the finite world and find the world of reality in the world of the form. Plato thought that the soul broke free from the body in death and returned to the world of the form, which is where it first came from. The demiurge created...
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