Metaphysics of the Forms


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Metaphysics of the Forms

  1. 1. Metaphysics of the Forms
  2. 2. By Tom Phillips
  3. 3. <ul><li>A metaphysics is a philosophical theory concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and of the world </li></ul><ul><li>Through asking two questions </li></ul><ul><li>1). What is there? </li></ul><ul><li>2). What is it like? </li></ul>Metaphysics
  4. 4. <ul><li>Plato (428-348BC) </li></ul><ul><li>Created his own metaphysics based on the premise that there are independent, original concepts called forms, i.e. beauty, which particular things i.e. a beautiful butterfly ‘participate in’ and get their qualities from. </li></ul><ul><li>This is a controversial metaphysics, Plato’s star pupil Aristotle rejected it, for example. </li></ul>Plato’s Metaphysics
  5. 5. <ul><li>Plato claims that there are several essential properties of the forms </li></ul><ul><li>Self-predication </li></ul><ul><li>Perfection </li></ul><ul><li>Independence (from particulars) </li></ul><ul><li>Permanence </li></ul><ul><li>Simplicity </li></ul>Essential Properties of the Forms
  6. 6. The Form of Beauty <ul><li>To show each essential property, I am going to use ‘the Form of Beauty’ as an example.. </li></ul><ul><li>I am using this picture to represent the form of beauty </li></ul>
  7. 7. Self-predication <ul><li>The Form of Beauty is itself beautiful </li></ul>
  8. 8. Self-predication <ul><li>Everything else is beautiful because it participates in the Form of Beauty </li></ul>
  9. 9. Self-predication <ul><li>Whereas, the form of beauty simply is beautiful, it is what it is in virtue of itself </li></ul>
  10. 10. Self-predication <ul><li>A thing is made beautiful when it participates with the form of beauty because the form is itself beautiful, beauty is transmitted to particulars </li></ul>
  11. 11. Perfection <ul><li>The form of beauty is a perfect example of itself, nothing can be more beautiful </li></ul>
  12. 12. Perfection <ul><li>Particular things can get close but can never reach the level of beauty that the form of beauty has </li></ul>
  13. 13. Independence (from particulars) <ul><li>A form is its own essence. Therefore, it is separate from particulars </li></ul>
  14. 14. Independence (from particulars) <ul><li>It doesn't even exist in time and space </li></ul>
  15. 15. Independence (from particulars) <ul><li>Also, because a Form is its own essence it is not essential for its particulars to participate with it for it to exist. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Independence (from particulars) <ul><li>I.e. if nothing was beautiful in the whole world, the Form of Beauty would still exist because it doesn’t require particular things for existence </li></ul>
  17. 17. Permanence <ul><li>Forms do not change at all! </li></ul>
  18. 18. Permanence <ul><li>If the Form of Beauty changed then it couldn’t have been perfect before, which is a contradiction </li></ul>
  19. 19. Simplicity <ul><li>The Forms are one </li></ul>
  20. 20. Simplicity <ul><li>Each Form only has one property/component. I.e. Beauty has beauty. Therefore there is simplicity </li></ul>
  21. 21. Superior <ul><li>Particular things are complex, changeable and imperfect </li></ul>
  22. 22. Superior <ul><li>Forms are the opposite </li></ul>
  23. 23. Superior <ul><li>Contrasting the two, the existence of the Forms is superior, they are in a way that particulars are not </li></ul>
  24. 24. World of Forms <ul><li>Plato asserts that there is a world of forms and one of particulars (our one) </li></ul><ul><li>Plato says that properties particulars have are faded copies of the forms in their world </li></ul>
  25. 25. World of Forms <ul><li>Particulars can loose their properties (something can become less beautiful) </li></ul><ul><li>And they rely on Forms and the world of forms for their existence </li></ul>
  26. 26. Form of the Good <ul><li>Every Form is meant to be Good </li></ul><ul><li>However the ‘best of the best’ or ‘form of forms’ is the Form of Good </li></ul>