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

Plato theory of forms

Free essay example:

Plato’s theory of forms is of little use

The extent to whether Plato’s theory of forms is of little use is open to debate. It is seen by some as of no use, however to others is quite true and believable. I will now look into arguments for and against Plato’s theories and make a judgement.

Plato’s theories of forms are realities separate from the actual object or concept and to Plato are the sources of all knowledge.

Some people say that Plato’s theory of forms is off little use because of the following reasons. Plato tells us that nobody who has discovered true knowledge would ever return to the world of shadows, but just because somebody knows the truth does not mean they will always choose to live by it, or accept it. For example it is proven that a large intake of fatty foods is not good for our body, but people continue to eat them, even though they know the truth. Sometimes even if we know the truth we will go against it, and Plato’s theory doesn’t accept this and assumes that if we know his ‘truth’ we will accept it.

Plato says that everything that exists in the visible world is a pale reflection of it form. So if there are forms of beauty, there must also be forms of death, disease and violence. These are bad so this contradicts what Plato says as there are also forms of bad ‘things’ in his perfect visible world. We know that it is impossible for disease and death to have a perfect form as they are both ‘bad’ things. For example we cannot make the disease cancer be a ‘nice’ thing because it makes people very ill. This shows us that Plato’s theory of forms isn’t always correct as there are always going to be bad things in the world, however perfect it may seem.

A major criticism of Plato’s form theory is that there is no evidence that form exist

However others disagree saying that Plato’s theory of forms is of some use.

 When Plato says that we need to access the true reality it questions what we already think and encourages us to believe that maybe there is something other than what we are experiencing. For example by questioning what we already believe it furthers our knowledge of what we are.

We know that there are forms of everything including death but positive aspects can be experienced from it. For example if somebody is extremely ill and has no quality of life, death is the best thing as it cures the pain the person is experiencing.

In conclusion I think that Plato’s theories have some truthfulness but also leave us with many unanswered questions e.g. what is perfect, how do we know when we have accessed the true reality.    

Forms enable us to recognise things in the visible world; they are not subject to change and are totally eternal. Forms are immaterial, meaning we can never detect them with any of our senses. Forms are true reality and Plato compares this to the sun which he calls the “Highest Form of Good”.  

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Miscellaneous section.

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

Related GCSE Religious Studies (Philosophy & Ethics) Skills and Knowledge Essays

See our best essays

Related GCSE Miscellaneous essays

  1. Can we create the perfect world?

    No world can be perfect for everyone and if people can choose their own appearance, height and there's no disease what's the point of God. He won't have to make people because they'll change themselves completely and without disease how ill God show how kind he is an cure people.

  2. Environmental Philosophy Reflection

    This includes some non-renewable fuels as well as earth's only 10% fertile soil which has also been destroyed by excessive farming, overgrazing and cutting down forests for more land space. We can only control this by controlling the rate of population growth in the world.

  1. Concepts of Beauty in Philosophy

    beauty as he is the first philosopher to really believe that art and beauty are real. St. Thomas Aquinus is the final philosopher that I am going to explore. Aquinus' conception of beauty is not unworldly like Plato. He defines 'beauty' as 'that which pleases to be seen', and 'the

  2. Platonic Forms

    Which is true because a river is constantly changing, you may think it is the same river but it will be different water because a river is constantly flowing. He said everything in the world is constantly in a state of flux (change).

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