explain the concept of ideals in Platos writings

Topics: A priori and a posteriori, Platonism, Epistemology Pages: 2 (586 words) Published: October 30, 2013
Explain the concept of Ideals in Plato’s writings (25)

Explanation of what is meant by Ideals – the true essence of something so actually the ideal could also be known as what Plato calls the ‘Form’ of something Two different worlds:
an unchanging world of ideas = absolute and objective so true for all (e.g Plato would say that we all have an understanding of what is ‘Good’ and that this doesn’t change but in this world our senses get in the way of us truly understanding and knowing what is meant by ‘Good’.), we have a priori knowledge of this – so we use our reason to know this. a changing physical world of the senses = we use a posteriori knowledge to understand the world around us - this world, according to Plato is the one that we, as humans beings, are trapped in. Plato uses The analogy of the cave to explain the differeces between the unchaning and chaning world, (and how it explains that we should be striving to obtain knowledge of these Ideals or ‘Forms’ of things) Explain the analogy – who are the prisoners, what do they represent, what does the journey out of the cave represent and what is the sun? Particular v. form (or ideal) = the form is the true essence whilst the particular is the details that bog us down – e.g. a child could recognise the ‘dogginess’ of a dog but if we start describing it ‘hair, tail, 4 legs etc’ then it could easily be confused with a different animal. The ‘Dog’ is the ideal that enable us all to recognise what it is (if we don’t rely on our sense but we rely on our reason we are bale to recognise these ideals) The hierarchy of the Form of the good – The Good = the Form of the Forms then come the universal qualities of justice, truth and beauty > concepts and ideals (love, honesty, loyalty etc) > physical living objects > physical inanimate objects Ideals have something in common – they all contain an essence of the good in them We have knowledge of these ideals from our eternal soul that once resided in the Realm of the...
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