Plato's theory of Ideas (Forms)

This paper will be concerned with Plato's theory of Ideas (or Forms). Various aspects of the theory of Ideas are presented in the texts of the philosopher. The emphasis in this paper will be on the conception of pure knowledge as the highest form of truth and beauty, an aspect of the theory which is presented in the Symposium.

According to Plato, the material world of the senses is an illusion. The real world, on the other hand, is the realm of Ideas which lies beyond the material world. With this view in mind, Plato claims that "only Ideas are real" (Flew 160). The material world, or the world of appearances, is constantly changing. The world of Ideas, however, never changes and is free from the limitations of time and space. As a result, Plato's theory holds that Ideas represent true reality, or the Truth which transcends the relativity of matter.

Whereas the objects of the material world are apprehended by the senses, the Platonic Ideas are apprehended by the mind. The Greek words for Idea (idein) and Form (eidos) are both related to the concept of vision (Flew 159). Thus, Ideas or Forms are things which are seen. However, they are not seen with the physical sight of the senses but rather "by a kind of intellectual vision" (159). The mind which is capable of visualizing the higher realm of Ideas is often equated with the soul. In the words of the historian Michael Grant: "As we learn increasingly in Plato's later works, the Forms are apprehended by the So



Related Essays

Ideas & Ways of Taoism & Neo-Confucianism .... on to compare this graphical configuration to S-matrix theory .... Taoist thought did not develop quantum theory except in .... to the reality assumed by Plato (Runes 668 .... (3517 14 )

Kant .... 13 Page 39) Quote 6: [A]s there is .... the Middle Ages, the difference being that, unlike Plato's forms or those .... Thus, in a way, Kant's theory of the active mind .... (2601 10 )

SYSTEMS THEORY .... Plato added that those individuals best suited to rule were the philosophers. .... Commanger, Henry S. (1991). .... Daft, RL (1992). Organization theory and design. .... (6916 28 )

Concept of Justice .... The theory of Glaucon is addressed next, a pragmatic view .... McElvaine, Robert S. "To Do or Not to Do--That .... Cicero follows Plato in many respects and holds that .... (1770 7 )

Comparison of Freud and Klein: Psycho-Dynamic Theories Identifying .... 1978), the whole of Western philosophy can be described as a series of footnotes to Plato, it seems .... Freud, S. 2000. .... Object relations in psychoanalytic theory. .... (4822 19 )

After-Death Communication Phenomenon .... Plato presents the myth that the body is attracted .... The connectivity hypothesis foundation s of an integral .... the Akashic field: An integral theory of everything. .... (4798 19 )

Category: Philosophy - P
Common Topics
Click Here to Get Instant Access to over 32,000 Professionally Written Papers!!!
Join Now  
Saved Papers  
Save your essays here so you can locate them quickly!
"Thank you for making such a high quality site! Your papers are the best I have seen around"
Debbie B.
"Your site was very helpful and gave me the details I needed in order to complete my essay!!!"
Mike F.
"This site is an excellent vehicle for quick referrences. Thanks a bunch!"
Carla T.
"Great site, I got a lot of new ideas I would have never thought of before."
Nate A.
"I love this site!!!"
Marie H.
Copyright © 2007 - 2014 Lots of Essays. All Rights Reserved. DMCA