Rationalist Epistemology - Plato Unit 2, Part 1
What is sufficient for knowledge? <ul><li>According to Plato, belief is a necessary part of knowledge </li></ul><ul><ul><u...
Simile of the Line
Simile of the Line, cont’d… <ul><li>What does Plato mean by images? </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Images are dependent on the ...
Simile of the Line, cont’d… <ul><li>What does Plato mean by sensible objects? </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sensible objects r...
Simile of the Line, cont’d… <ul><li>What does Plato mean by concepts? </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>For Plato, a concept is si...
Simile of the Line, cont’d… <ul><li>We have arrived at…THE FORMS! </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>According to Plato, all the co...
Simile of the Line, cont’d… <ul><li>The Forms exist outside time and space, not merely as ideas in one’s mind </li></ul><u...
Innate Ideas <ul><li>It seems that to know the forms, one must know everything!  How could we ever know anything? </li></u...
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Rationalist epistemology plato

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Rationalist epistemology plato

  1. 1. Rationalist Epistemology - Plato Unit 2, Part 1
  2. 2. What is sufficient for knowledge? <ul><li>According to Plato, belief is a necessary part of knowledge </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>But does true belief constitute knowledge? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>No! Not according to Plato </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Plato claims that in order for one to claim that one “knows” something, the following must be true: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The individual must believe X </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>X must be true </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>One has to be able to give the logos (give the theory, etc) for X </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>For Plato, knowledge is justified belief </li></ul>
  3. 3. Simile of the Line
  4. 4. Simile of the Line, cont’d… <ul><li>What does Plato mean by images? </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Images are dependent on the sensible objects of which they are images </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sensible in this case means experienced by the five senses </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>If the object of one’s state of awareness is an image, than Plato would say you are in a state of imagination </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The person in the state confuses an image with the thing itself </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>This is the lowest point on the line, an experience that Plato would not define as knowledge </li></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Simile of the Line, cont’d… <ul><li>What does Plato mean by sensible objects? </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sensible objects refer to things in the physical world (llamas, skateboards, and chicken patties) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>These are more real than images (obviously, a picture of a chicken patty is less real than the actual chicken patty leaking grease onto your cafeteria plate), but Plato says that they are not “absolutely real” – meaning that they are impermanent (that chicken patty will rot away to nothing eventually), and they are dependent on other things – such as the sun, and the Forms (which we will talk about later) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>If the object of one’s awareness is a sensible object, then one is in a state of belief…not knowledge </li></ul>
  6. 6. Simile of the Line, cont’d… <ul><li>What does Plato mean by concepts? </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>For Plato, a concept is similar to a theory, or a science </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>For example, gravity would be considered a concept, or Einstein’s theory of relativity </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>At this point, when one is focusing on concepts, we have now entered the realm of knowledge </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>But not the highest form of knowledge… </li></ul></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Simile of the Line, cont’d… <ul><li>We have arrived at…THE FORMS! </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>According to Plato, all the concepts we have mentioned (gravity, chicken patties, Einstein’s theory of relativity…) are simply copies of higher truths, which he called the Forms. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Forms are essentially archetypes of everything existing in the visible world </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>For example, that chicken patty on your plate is only a shadow of the “real thing” – there exists the Form of a chicken patty…the ultimate, perfect chicken patty </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Simile of the Line, cont’d… <ul><li>The Forms exist outside time and space, not merely as ideas in one’s mind </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>However, they can only be grasped using the intellect, not the senses </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>They are uncreated, indestructible, unchanging, and eternal </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>However, they still depend upon something – what Plato calls, “the Good”, which serves as an absolute value and grounds all of reality </li></ul><ul><li>The Forms must be grasped “formally” – essentially, mathematically </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Just as gravity might have a formula, so would Love, Beauty, etc. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Innate Ideas <ul><li>It seems that to know the forms, one must know everything! How could we ever know anything? </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Plato contends that we each possess innate ideas , that are present in our souls at birth </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The Forms, being the highest form of knowledge, must therefore be present in the souls of each person – otherwise, how could we ever know anything? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>True knowledge then, is merely a recollection of the innate ideas of the Forms that we all already possess </li></ul></ul></ul>
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