Plato Theory of Forms

Topics: Plato, Theory of Forms, Aristotle Pages: 3 (1100 words) Published: November 28, 2006
Plato's Theory of Forms is not something that is easy to understand. According to him the forms are a class concept that is a perfect example of the form itself. To anyone scanning through the forms they might not grasp the full concept Plato is trying to get across. However, if time is taken to examine Plato's theory it can make sense. For Plato everything has a pure form. If you take any property of an object and separate it from the object itself, you are left contemplating a form. Plato splits up being into two worlds, the material world and the transcendent world of forms. We know of the world of forms through the mind, through reason; this gives us access to an unchanging world, secure from the changes of the material world. By making ourselves become aware of the forms, we find something that cannot be changed in anyway. We see a different world, with different objects, through our mind than we do through the senses. It is the material world, visible through the senses, that is changing. It is the world of forms, seen through the mind that is permanent and immutable. It is the world of the forms that is more real, where as the material world is an imperfect image of the world of forms.

The form of roundness can be a great example to try and break the concept of Plato's theory down into simpler terms. If you separate the roundness of a basketball from its color, its weight, etc. and consider just roundness by itself, you are thinking of the form of roundness. Plato believed that this form existed aside from the basketball, in a different form of existence than the actual basketball. The form is not just the idea of roundness you have in your mind. It exists separately from the basketball and independently of whether someone thinks of it. All round objects, not just a basketball, participate or resemble this same form of roundness.

To see what a form is and how it differs from a material object, you have to understand two properties that...
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