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To what extent is it true to say the Forms teach us nothing about the physical world?

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Introduction

´╗┐To what extent is it true to say the Forms teach us nothing about the physical world? Plato?s Forms as seen in the Allegory of the Cave can be argued to teach us nothing about the physical world as they are located in the World of the Forms. Within Plato?s writings he suggested that we live within the World of Appearances, nevertheless he believed this is only a shadowy reflection of the true, perfect world, the World of the Forms. However there is no proof or physical evidence to prove any worlds other than the World of Appearances. The World of the Forms is about imagination and what appears to be in our minds as we all have a slight recollection of the WOF due to our soul recognising it, but even our slight recognition of concepts doesn?t prove anything. ...read more.

Middle

The Form of the Good is seen as ?the Form of the Forms? in the eyes of Plato as it illuminates all of the other Forms and gives them their value. It was represented by the sun in Plato?s Allegory of the Cave as the sun gives life to all other Forms, such as the idea that growth cannot occur without the sun, nor can anyone see without the light of the sun. However, Aristotle suggested that Good comes in many different varieties that there cannot be only one Form of it. For example, the goodness of a person differs from the Goodness of a chair. It is also argued that what is Good is ?culturally relative?. This shows how the Forms teach us nothing about the physical world as concepts such as good differ between situations and cultures so cannot be used for all circumstances in the physical world. ...read more.

Conclusion

The theory of the Forms encourages us to question our senses and not rely on accepted truths. It helps to reveal the sometimes unreliable side to our senses when they deceive us and helps us to use our reason more than we previously would have. The theory of the Forms also helps us to recognise why we can distinguish certain concepts in the physical world such as justice and beauty. It provides an explanation for our understanding of concepts and helps to teach us about our soul identifying them in the physical world. In conclusion, the Forms teach us to use our reason more in society and to test our senses, however it mostly does not teach us anything about the physical world as the Forms themselves cannot be proved and are only a theory by an Ancient Greek philosopher so therefore they cannot teach anything about our world without proof of their own existence. ...read more.

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