Plato's Theory of Forms

Topics: Truth, Universe, Aristotle Pages: 3 (877 words) Published: April 5, 2012
Explain and define Plato’s theory of Forms with your personal Criticism. Plato was born in Athens on 428 BC. He was a Greek philosopher who laid foundations of western philosophy. He raised basic questions and problems of western thought, goodness and virtue, truth and knowledge, body and soul, ideal political state, and use of Literature and Arts were some of the pre dominant topics of interest to Plato. Plato devoted himself completely to philosophy. He was a student of Socrates. He was a great admirer of Socrates and he initially joined Socrates school of thought to learn philosophy. Later after the death of Socrates, he found an academy where geometry was most prominent in the curriculum along with mathematics and philosophy. He was also influenced from pre-Socratic thinkers like Heraclitus and Parmenides; who rejected physical world and said that inner is more important than believed apparent world. He was also influenced by mathematical concepts derived from Pythagoras. He learned dialectical method of following truth in order to derive a philosophy, ideas and opinions. According to Encyclopedia Britannica literally word Form means, “The external shape, appearance or configuration of an object in contradistinction to the matter of which it is composed. In Aristotelian Metaphysics, the active, determining principle of a thing as distinguished from matter, the potential principle.” (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2012) In Stanford Encyclopedia it is stated that, Plato’s term ‘eidos’ by which he identified the permanent reality that makes a thing what it is in contrast to the particulars that are finite and subject to change. The Platonic concept of form was itself derived from the Pythagorean theory that intelligible structures and not material elements, gave objects their distinctive characters. Theory of Forms states about what is real and what is not. The real is thought to be perfect whereas things which are not real are changing. Plato...

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