Theory of Ideas Outline

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Introduction
a. We can observe through Plato’s various works that he has some difficulty in defining universals; like justice, piety, etc.
b. In an attempt to provide a definition for intangible universals, Plato constructs a theory of forms to show that the sensible world of particulars are mere imitations of the real world where forms reside, independent of thought and existing in their own metaphysical domain that can be accessed through the mind using reason. 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 complex property or quality.

Body
I. What are forms?
a. Plato argues that what we observe in our world are imitations and copies of the real world, or the world of forms.
i. Cave Theory: We only see the shadows of real objects; therefore we do not see things in their whole entirety. ii. Forms are ultimately the real entities
b. Forms are transcendent properties or qualities of objects that exist independently of physical objects.
i. They are conceptual and are accessed through our minds ability to conceive them.
1. They are perfect models of which all material objects are based upon ii. They are pure and exist outside of space-time.
1. A desk is the collection of forms flatness, duskiness, etc.
c. Forms are the causes of all material things
i. They are the cause of all knowledge we have of object s ii. They are the cause of everything that exists

II. The Implications and Importance of Forms
a. Plato introduces Forms as a means to find a definition for qualities such as justice, piety, equality, etc.
b. To know of a form, one must reason and rationalize it. i. Further asserts that to be just, one must be aware of the form of justice, something that can only be done with

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