Plato’s concept of the ideals
Plato believed that reality is more than what we sense around the world (e.g. taste, smell, hear, see and touch), he believed that behind these physical realities lies a perfect version of them in which he called Forms and that the greatest thing we can learn is to have knowledge and understanding of them. Plato’s theory means that what we can sense around us (for example a chair) is just a mere shadow of the perfect version which exists in the world of Forms. The perfect version of a chair is one in which for fills its purpose e.g. to be comfortable and to be sat on. Plato believed that everything had a perfect Form, from objects such as pens and books to things such as beauty and justice. He believed that to experience the world of Forms we had to become perfect philosophers.
Plato introduced the ‘Analogy of the cave’ to try and illustrate that human being live and only understand a realm of shadows. Within this explanation Plato used many objects as symbols or metaphors to describe the true meaning of forms, for example, the sun is seen as the Form of Good.
Plato describes the world of Forms as ‘unchanging’ in the fact that everything that has yet to be invented in the world of senses already exists in the world of Forms as its perfect version. Plato also believes that that quality’s, such as truth, beauty and justice, all have a universal existence, a reality of their own and Plato believes that we have an innate knowledge of their true Forms. They act ad s cause, source, or necessary, a primary condition for the existence of secondary objects (such as chairs) and actions in the world. To what extent is it true to say that the Forms teach us nothing about the real world?
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