The first time forms are mentioned in their own name is found in Book III of The Republic. The dialogue is taking place between Glaucon and Socrates, and it is Socrates who said, “We’ll never be musical…before we recognize the forms of moderation, courage, liberality, magnificence, and all their kin, and, again, their opposites…” (403c) Another example from this dialogue, which is discussing education in the forms, is, “a good soul by its own virtue makes the body as good as it can be.” (403d) We cannot fully understand what Socrates means here until we understand the formation of soul is, and the three virtues. We need to know form in...
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... this class would make use of forms to govern, and despite the majority of the city not grasping or being aware of the forms, they are still functioning and being made of use. A parallel can be drawn between the composition of a just city and the characters of Book I, where Socrates would take the part of the wise class, and others would be distributed throughout as either appetite or courage (I imagine Thrasymachus would be a money-maker in the appetite driven class).
Not only is it impossible to understand the Book I of Plato’s The Republic without making use of the concept of “forms,” but it can be expected that forms will be made of use and not completely understood by those using them. The connections between education, justice, souls, and forms are crucial to making this argument and emphasis the relationship between understanding forms and making use of them.
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