• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Platos theory of the forms

Extracts from this document...


Plato's Theory of the Forms The influence that Plato has had throughout the history of philosophy has been significant. Among other things, Plato is known for his exploration metaphysics and the theory of knowledge, many of his ideas influencing the mind frame of Western society. The basis of Plato's philosophy is his theory of Ideas, or teaching of the Forms. The theory of Forms is essential to Plato's philosophy, and over years of philosophical study, it has been of great interest to understand what these Forms are supposed to be, in addition the purpose of their existence and how they relate to the modern world today. ...read more.


An example could be a triangle; there are many various ways one can construct a triangle, that triangle would contain a part of the perfect form of triangles in the spiritual world. Our senses are able to identify a part of an object that resembles the perfect form. Plato suggests that the world we live in is a world of appearances although the real world is a world of ideas that he calls forms. Plato suggests that the world we live in is all appearance as everything will eventually ware out and die. For example animals and humans will die eventually, a table will eventual break down and rot to the original substances it was created from. ...read more.


The tied up prisoners are similar to the majority of people in the everyday world, they only see shadows which is what they believe to be reality, and similarly the physical world is an illusion to the real world of the forms. The prisoners need to be set free, likewise the physical world imprisons one by not allowing them to see the forms. In the analogy the prisoner who has escaped from the cave comes to see the sun, the sun represents the ultimate form of the good; the most perfect form. The analogy also helps us realize that the sun is a source of the other forms, the most important form. Plato summed up that goodness is the highest form of reality. ?? ?? ?? ?? Boback ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Philosophy section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Philosophy essays

  1. Explain Plato's Theory of Forms

    the truth be known if the world never stays the same from one moment to the next. Plato believed there was a certain truth, but this material world cannot answer it. The material world only presents appearances, which lead us to make opinions, not knowledge.

  2. Plato's Theory of Forms.

    He stated that the real world was a non-material world that was outside time and space. It was known only through reason - which ultimately results in pure, permanent knowledge. There is no change eternally, so the world, and everything in it, is perfect.

  1. Explain Plato's and Aristotle's ideas of form, body, knowledge and soul.

    Hence, although all knowledge must begin with information acquired through the senses, its results are achieved by rational means. Transcending the sensory preoccupation with particulars, the soul employs the formal methods of logic to cognise the relationships among abstract forms.

  2. Explain Plato's theory of forms.

    Plato realised the opinion is often mistaken for knowledge, for example, what may be beautiful for one person may be ugly for another. Both people seem to have knowledge, but they are only opinion. These opinions are contradictory, as is everything in the "World of appearances" therefore it is impossible to have any knowledge of them.

  1. Free essay

    Discuss Plato's Theory of Forms

    In the world of forms, the mind can achieve rational insight into the truth only by realizing the form of the Good which is the highest form of all. Thus, the Good is beyond being, and the cause of all existence.

  2. Explain the Analogy of the Cave in Platos Republic

    Each part of the analogy emphasises the detailed contrasts between the empirical and rational; physical and spiritual. Plato believes that true knowledge can only be discovered in the World of Forms. This concludes that any knowledge that comes through the five senses cannot be true as the visibly physical world is in a process of constant change.

  1. Explain Platos teaching about reality in his analogy of the cave. (25 marks)

    whole universe, without this form there would be no ideal form of beauty or justice etc. The different forms all connect together with a fixed order of importance, created by the form of good as it gives each forms its own nature.

  2. Explain Plato's Theory of Forms

    Plato said that the objects in the material world must exist somewhere and that place is the World of Forms. A Form is not a physical thing, it is a concept and therefore it is unchanging and eternal.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work