Plato (OCR exam board)

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Plato (OCR exam board)

  1. 1. Plato’s Forms
  2. 2. HTTPS://ITHINKTHEREFOREIT EACH.WORDPRESS.COM/ For OCR New Spec PowerPoints, please go to:
  3. 3. Meet Plato • Plato, like Heraclitus, believed that everything in this world changes. • This lead Plato to conclude that there must be a World where things are unchanging. = World of Forms Heraclitus: “Can you step in the same river twice?”
  4. 4. • Everything we experience in this world is a vague shadow of what it really is.... Real World perfect and eternal World of Appearances 1. There are many types of beauty in this world but they must all conform or match the idea of what beauty is. However there must be an underlying idea of what beauty is = Form of Beauty. For Plato this is the true Form of a Beauty which exists in the World of Forms. 2. Plato says that the particulars (e.g a particular beautiful person) are imperfect copies of the Forms. 3. The particulars share in, or participate in the Form. Some things participate to a greater or lesser extent. True Essence of Beauty
  5. 5. 1. The World of Forms or the Noeton. 2. ‘Form’ = perfect expression of something that never changes. 3. This world based on senses is the Horaton (phenomena) 4. Sense Experience creates illusions 5. Humans believe these illusions = are ignorant (Eikasia.) Episteme/epistemology - true knowledge of the Forms. For Plato, this is via reason (a priori) NOT sense experience. Sense experience – empirical knowledge
  6. 6. Qualities of Forms 1. Perfect/ an Ideal 2. One and only original example 3. More real (than the shadow that we experience.) 4. Eternal fixed truths which are absolutely true for all time, people and places. 5. Unchanging- because it is a concept not something physical. Physical ideas of things change and die. 6. The Form is not a shape (not ears, legs, colour, tail) but the essence of an object. 7. The reason why we experience things in our world Qualities of things in our world/ World of Appearances 1. Constantly changes, evolving, dying = not perfect 2. Only a shadow or echo of the real true Form 3. Everything in this world matches/ conforms to the Form 4. Objects in this world only imitate the Forms, so a beautiful person is an imitation of the Form of Beauty. 5. Plato calls things in this world particulars (e.g a particular beautiful person) which are imperfect copies of the Forms. 6. Everything participates/ part of in the Form.
  7. 7. Ultimate Form • Because there are so many Forms there must be a Form of the Forms. • supreme Form = ‘Form of the Good.’ • The Form of the Good is the Form of all other Forms. This is because everything has goodness in it. • Try describing beauty, justice, truth without mentioning ‘goodness.’ (Plato most interested in these ideas) • All perfection flows down from the Form of the Good. • Source/ reason for all other Forms. • Just as the sun in the allegory of the cave gives light to the real world, so the Form of the Good illuminates the other Forms. • It enables our souls to ‘see’ the Forms. • It is the ultimate end in itself: the aim of everything is goodness.
  8. 8. Form of Good Justice Universal Qualities (essence that makes up Forms) Concepts and Ideals (Forms) Physical Living Objects (Humans, animals, plants) Physical inanimate objects (furniture) BeautyTruth
  9. 9. • Knowledge of the Good is the highest knowledge a human is capable of. • A philosopher can escape the world of appearances and with their mind (reason/ a priori) see the Forms that lie behind the appearances. = true leaders of society. • We are born with a dim recollection of the Forms. • Our immortal soul observes them before being reincarnated (Metempsychosis) • In the physical body (ruled by senses) the memory is only dim • Evidence: people know the basics of truth/ justice and beauty without being taught. • We do not learn new things, instead education is a matter of remembering and recalling the world of Forms.

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