Explain Plato's Theory Of Forms

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Through the influence of Socrates, who believed that true knowledge (episteme) comes from knowing that you know nothing, Plato introduced his “theory of forms” into the world of metaphysics. For the first time, Plato presented the concept of “abstract objects” and began to question their nature. He used the term “forms”, which were also referred to as ideas (eidos), to describe these objects that lack a spatial location. Plato’s theory is based off of the concept that these forms are considered to be “perfect” examples. Although Plato was uncertain of the nature of the forms, he was certain of what they are not. According to Plato, forms are not observable by senses and they are unchangeable. He also describes forms as the fundamental reality, and says that they are eternal (Kraut PDF 41). As he continued to…show more content…
Forms are connected in a complex relationship with particulars, known as Methexis, where particulars participate in forms. Plato further addresses his theory of forms through the argument of forms versus particulars. According to Plato, forms are general, universal definitions, while particulars are specific, different brands. He claims that a single form binds together many particulars. Therefore, Plato argues that particulars are always less than forms. Since particulars participate as forms, particulars get their distinctive features from forms. This idea is expressed through the phrase, “one over the many”. In order to understand Plato’s theory of forms, we can think of the example of the horse. The “form” of a horse applies to all horses, it is the most perfect abstract example that comes to mind. However, an individual horse is a particular, changing object that is imperfect. The “horseness” or form of the house is unchangeable. Therefore, Plato concludes that forms are the most important and that they are more real than material
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