Plato's Reflection on Metaphysics

Topics: Ontology, Existence, Truth Pages: 2 (622 words) Published: May 2, 2012
Plato & Metaphysics
Metaphysics; a combination of the Greek word, meta, which translates to “after,” “beyond,” “along with,” “among,” and “behind,” and the Latin term, physica, that simply means the science of matter and physical properties. Philosophers refer to this term to theorize about the different elements of the world in which we live and the world that truly exists. One of the most prominent philosophers is Plato, who set the foundation for many modern philosophers on their perspective of reality through reason.

Plato believed in two separate realities; the physical and the immaterial. He claimed that a dividing line existed between the two worlds, and the immaterial or intelligible is of more importance in the discovery of truth than the physical properties of our world. Comprised of intangible properties but that can be seen through logic, the immaterial world is grasping the reason behind the idea of an object and separating those elements from the subject. Plato explicates the physical world as anything or objects that is identified by one of our five senses.

Within the physical world are two subsets, image and tangible object. Image refers to the shadow or reflection of the image. In addition, the physical object is self explanatory; the object distinguished by touch, taste, smell, or sight. Although primarily disconnected, the two worlds cannot exist without each other and the knowledge that pertains to both. For example, Plato utilizes a ball as the subject to form an analogy of the collaboration between the two realities. From childhood, we are taught that a ball is a ball based on others perception and knowledge of it; not our original thought. The ball exists in the world of appearances, physical. However, its intangible properties such as, roundness, exist on a parallel plane. Plato describes that plane as the world of Forms.

In an effort to further enlighten us, Plato sets guidelines for the properties to forms. First,...
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