Explain Platos Theories of Form

Topics: Theory of Forms, Epistemology, Platonism Pages: 3 (923 words) Published: November 13, 2011
Plato was born in 429 B.C. As the son of a wealthy nobleman, he turned his back on a political scene, and devoted himself to writing ideas of his master, complimented with his own views in his dialogues.

One particular theory he dedicated his time to was the the theory of ‘The forms’. 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 believed that behind every concept in the visible world, there is an unseen reality, which he calls its Forms. A form is an abstruse property or quality. The forms may be seen as ideal blueprints for the particular earthly example of beauty and trees, and so on, which Plato called particulars.

If you take any property of an object and then separate it from that object and consider it by itself, you are deliberating a form. For example, if you separate the roundness of a tennis ball from its color, power and its weight, etc. and consider just roundness by itself, you are thinking of the from of roundness. Plato reasoned that this property of roundness existed not just in the appearance of a tennis ball, but in a different mode of existence. Plato believed that therefore all round objects, not just this tennis ball, participate or copy this same form of roundness. The same thing occurs with concepts like equality; we recognise two shapes are being equal because we have some awareness of the Form of Equality.

Plato explains that the "World of forms" is very different to the "Visible world". 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 forms makes an analysis between those objects that are real and those that are only real in our minds. Plato emphasised that the Forms exist separately from their particulars. The Forms are eternally more real than their...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Plato theory of forms Essay
  • Explain the Criticisms of Plato's Theory of the Forms. Essay
  • Explain Plato S Concept Of The Forms And The Particular Importance Of The Form Of Good Essay
  • Explain what Plato meant by the Form of the Good. Essay
  • Explain Plato's theory of the realm of the forms Essay
  • Theory of Forms Essay
  • Essay on Plato Form Of The Good
  • Plato Theory of Forms Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free