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Reflection on Metaphysics and Learning

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POD Reflection on Metaphysics & Learning Chen Minqi (1) 3.13 Haggai Many people think David Beckham is handsome, and many also agree that Will Smith is handsome. However, they look totally different. So the question arises is that how do we define and identify handsome? Is it just 'looking good', which is so vague? Another question which is closer to our daily life is that we call sky blue, but we also call our jeans blue. Obviously, the colour of the sky and the jeans, or even the colour of different jeans, are definitely different. What is 'standard blue'? ...read more.


Aristotle would say that you have to see fifty different tables and then you will form a concept of "tableness", while Plato believed that we had experience the perfect form of a table in the World of Forms and therefore being able to classify tables. Personally, I agree with Aristotle's theory that we learn from observation and our minds automatically form general concepts. If you give a sponge ball to a newborn baby, he may grab it, punch it or even have a taste of it. All these actions seem very funny to us, because we know that this sponge ball is only for playing, not eating! ...read more.


If we look back into the history of China in Tang Dynasty, Chinese people thought plump - in today's people's eyes, fat - were beautiful. But nowadays, we seldom connect fat, but slim with beauty. With many other similar examples, it is very easy to see that people's values have been changing over the ages. If there is a "World of Forms" existing, how could Plato explain the change in values? However, there are things that Aristotle's theory will not be able to explain - when we see some tools that we have never seen before, we are still able to 'guess' what are their uses. Is it just by intuition? In conclusion, I would believe in Aristotle's theory rather than Plato's theory of Forms, though it is still not perfect. ...read more.

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