Some people may disagree with me and argue that it is important. This could be because earlier philosophers’ theories fit with Plato’s theory, for example, Heraclitus’ river theory. Heraclitus’ theory suggests that the world of sense experience is subject to constant change. Heraclitus said “It is not possible to step into the same river twice” – according to Heraclitus, everything in the world is in a constant state of flux, he said that things come into the world, they change all the time, that they are here and then they go away again. This goes hand in hand with Plato’s theory because Plato said one of the differences between this world and the World of Forms is that this World is always changing and coming in and out of existence, for example, birth and death, whereas the World of Forms is unchanging. There is proof for Heraclitus’ theory since you really can’t step into the same river twice because the water is constantly being replaced by new water and if the world is constantly changing there must be a world outside of reality that is unchanging and perfect like Plato said. Heraclitus also believed that there is nothing in this world that is reliable and unchanging, and nothing that we can hold up as a certain, unchanging truth which also supports Plato because according to Plato, the World of Forms exists as the unchanging truth.
Another reason to why I think the theory of Forms does not tell us anything of importance is because it doesn’t really make much sense. If you look at the third man argument, you will realise that it has a plot hole. One of the reasons that makes Plato’s theory of Forms seems logical and believable is because of the fact that, like Plato said, we do recognise features that various particulars have in common. For example, all dogs have something in common which is why we recognise them as dogs and therefore there is a Form of ‘dogness’. But according to Plato there is also a ‘resemblance’ between Forms and the particulars which reflect the Forms. So that means that they both must have ‘something in common’, something that can be shown by another Form which we will call the ‘Third Man’. This third Form must also have something in common with the other two and this would be a continuous cycle which does not sound logical.
On the other hand, Plato’s theory of Forms gives an explanation to many philosophical questions so it is important. For example, it helps you understand why there are imperfections in this world such as death. There are imperfections in this world because only the realm of Forms is perfect. But I find this hard to understand because how can there be perfect Forms of things like death?
In conclusion, I do not think the theory of Forms is important because although it does answer many philosophical questions and there are other philosophical theories from different philosophers which support Plato’s beliefs, there are things which I find illogical and most importantly there is no way to prove it.