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Essay about Plato’s Theory of Forms

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Plato’s Theory of Forms

Plato, one of the greatest philosophers of all time, has had a
profound effect on subsequent ages. He was born into an aristocratic
Athenian family in about 428 BCE, and his are the earliest writings of
philosophical findings that have been recorded. However Plato not only
recorded his own findings, but those of his teacher, Socrates.

Socrates, a man who was known by the Grecians to be a ‘hornet’,
forever hovering around, standing up to things, questioning everything
and generally being a busybody, was not seen like that in the eyes of
Plato. Plato admired Socrates for his teachings, and of his Dialectic
method, which was to question and answer everything to show up mortal
ignorance, and get as close as possible to ‘Real Knowledge’.

However, Socrates never had chance to write down his experiences, he
only taught by word of mouth, forever battling against the Sophists,
in trying to prove that philosophy wasn’t just a profession as they
thought, but a way of life. Socrates career and life came to a bitter
end in 399 BCE, when he was sentenced to death by poison with a charge
of corrupting the young (namely young philosophers like Plato) and of
introducing new Gods. Instead of leaving Athens forever or appealing
for leniency, Socrates decided to give up his life in the name of
philosophy and the search for truth.

Even though the death of Socrates upset and disgusted Plato, he was
filled with enthusiasm and awe at how Socrates had stood up for his
beliefs. Therefore, Plato continued his research into philosophical
findings, and made Socrates live on, through his own writings, which
he named Dialogues. He ...


... middle of paper ...


...the concepts and ideas. The fourth stage in the hierarchy,
or order of importance are physical living objects, e.g. humans, and
after them, the physical inanimate objects, for example a book or a
chair.

Ultimately, the theory of Forms is intended to explain how one comes
to know and also how things have come to be as they are. In
philosophical language, Plato's theory of Forms is both theory of
knowledge and theory of being. The people who have the most knowledge
of this will be philosophers, so they should rule. We can get to gain
‘real knowledge’ – this knowledge is certain, there is a right and
there is a wrong, whereas the knowledge we are normally used to –‘
Empirical knowledge’ is largely based on opinion and is therefore not
accurate. It is a long, painful process to real knowledge, but
extremely worth it.


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