The believes that if we believe and concieve
The Theory of Forms or also known as The Theory of Ideas, is a challenging concept but represents the purest form of knowledge according to Socrates and Plato. The Forms represent Plato’s argument that non-physical forms/ideas are the most accurate reality we have. One can notice this difference because throughout Plato’s work, The Theory of Forms are often capitalized. Plato, who speaks of The Forms through different characters in each story, but mostly Socrates, believes that the Forms are the only objects of study that can provide knowledge and are the solutions to the universal problems that occur. Plato was heavily influenced on sceptism, which came from his teacher, Socrates. According to Plato, the world is contantly changing and believes it is therefore unreliable. In order to solve this problem, Plato introduces The Theory of Form as a more reliable and permanent world. From a mathametican standpoint, we can look at The Theory of Forms as a perfect triangle. This would be described as the Form or Idea of the Triangle. Plato explains in his dialounges that the Forms exists in an abstract state but are considered independent state. In Plato’s work, The Theory of Forms is already perfect and if one was to try to change or recreate the forms, they would simply fall short or fail. For example, if we trying to redraw the triangle, we would then compare the perfect form to the imperfect form. A perfect triangle is hard for most of us to imagine because we are thought to think nothing in life is perfect. He simply believes that if we believe and concieve a perfect triangle in our minds, then it must exist. Plato was in search for the truth and purest knowledge to come with it which he voiced through Socrates with each character he had a discussion with. With each thing in the world, there is a Form that corresponds with it and it is a perfect example of it. For example, the words tree, house, woman would be perfect and abstract examples of the perfect ideas. The main idea that Plato presents is the search for truth and one cannot have reliable knowledge if they cannot comprehend the true reality behind the things in the world and their Forms. In order to understand and percieve the Theory of Forms, one must learn a difficult education that includes the truth of the philospher-kings who are required to percieve the Form of the Goodness to be well-educated and informed rulers. We must also be able to recall these Form because they are embedded in our soul because we have innate knowledge. One discussion that corresponds with the Theory of Form is the Phaedo. In this discussion, Socrates presents the argument of the afterlife and what happens to the soul. The main idea in the Phaedo is the soul is immortal and is broken down into four arguments to describe its immortality. One is the Cyclical Argument, which explains that the Forms are eternal and unchanging, the soul can always bring life and it must not die. It is considered “imperishable”. The Theory of Recollection explains that we posses some innate knowledge at birth and that is able to carry out that knowledge throughout our soul because the soul existed before birth. The Affinity Argument explains that invisable and immortal things are different from visable and mortal things. So when our bodies begin to decay, our soul will live on forever.The Final Argument states that all things in the world particpate in The Theory of Forms. For example, the beautiful things in the world represent the Form of Beauty. Everything in the world comes from an independent Form/Idea. In Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, the Theory of Form is present when speaking about the sensiable and the intelligiable. In Plato’s distinction through Socrates he describes a group of people who all their lives have been chained to a wall of the cave. They have no notion of the outside world, they can only watch the shadows projected on the wall from object passing by the fire. The shadows represent the prisoner’s reality since that is all they know and have come accustom to. Socrates explains that a philospher is a freed prisoner from the cave and with the knowledge comes to understand that the shadows on the wall are not reality at all, just what we think it is because we don’t know anything else. Once one is freed from this notion, the philispher is able to percieve the true form of reality rather then believing what they only see from the shadows on the walls. Plato divided the universe into two forms, the sensiable and the intelligable. The sensiable describes how we see the world through our sense, sight, smell, taste, touch etc. The intelligeable is how we see the world through our intellect. The things that come from our intellect is the Theory of Forms. According to Plato, these things in the sensiable world, which come from our sense are eternal and are imperfect reflections of the Forms. Plato uses these two Forms to describe two metaphors. The Allegory of the Sun in Plato’s writing states that since the Sun is visable to our eyes, it is the light that describes the truth and being which is in contrast of the becoming. The nature of the reality is what represents the soul and what can be considered the Good. Since the light and sight are made to represent the Sun, but are not the Sun, but because of the Sun light and truth can exist. This can also be describe with science and truth can be represented as the Good, but yet are not the Good. So if light and sight can be considered part of the Good then so must science and truth. According to Plato, the Good is beyond the state of being and is the creation of all existence. Another metaphor is the line. If the line is cut into two unequal parts and then divided again, it would be divided into two main divisions: the seniable and intelligeable world. We can think of this has a chart. The chart is cut into four sections representing the Visable on the bottom and the Intelligibable directly above it and the Opinion on the other side and Knowledge right above it. The Visiable has two parts: Images and Beliefs which also corresponds with the Opinion: Imagination Perception. The Images represent the shadows on the cave walls and how this can be interperted by imagination. We begin to image what life would be life beyond the cave. The Beliefs represent how we interpert events based off our perception. For example, one might imagine something and believe because they don’t know anything else then what they are imagining. This section is interperted as the becoming, we strive to achieve the Good. In the intelligeable division this consists of the Forms and can be accessed by thought. The mathematical forms are based off reason. For example, Plato uses the picture of the triangle to help reason the trianguality and prove his the theories. Plato refers to this point as the becoming, we want to reach the Higher Forms, but are not quite there yet. Finally, the top section of the Intelligetable consists of Forms but is based off understanding. It does not include the sensiable form, but is based off science as the Form of the Good. We have reached the highest form of the truth and knowledge through the Forms. The purpose of education is for the philospher to reach the Form of the Good. The cave also represents a sense of giving back to your State. When the prisnor leaves the cave, if he decides to go back to the cave, he must partake in human affairs and labor. The State aims for happiness among all its citizens and since the prisnor was able to see the light because of the State, then he has a duty to complete a service to the State. Plato explains that we must all give back to our society because they are the reason we are here in the first place. The Theory of Knowledge is equalivent to doubt and we seem to question if we really know anything at all between knowing and a trustworthy and untrustworthy belief. Do we really know what knowledge is? Do we really know what a belief is? In the discussion of the Theaetetus, Socrates challenges the idea of knowledge and what a world be like in absent of the forms. Theaeteus believes that the theory that knowledge is perception and uses Protagorean’s thesis to explain his viewpoint. In his theory, Protagorean states that how things are present to an individual is how they are for that indiviudal. For example, if one knows they are cold then they percieve they are cold. The perception is appicalable to the reciever. Socrates then begs the question if the wind blows one of the individuals would feel cold and the other would not. Due to this question Socrates introduces the Heraclitean flux as his defense to the wind theory. In this flux, it is explained that things in itself are not just one thing, but all the things are in the process of becoming to be those things. Thus, things can’t have a fixed meaning, but can draw their meaning from other different things. It is very important to make the distinction between Heraclitean flux and the Protagorean theory. The Protagorean theory focuses on truth realitvism, which is more in search for the truth and the Heraclitean flux focuses more on the reality relativism, which is more in search for the reality of the truth. Socrates also explains that since Protagoras is a sophist, his wisdom has nothing to do with the truth, but he can just make the way things sound better to people. The second critique, Socrates has against Theaeteus is the self-refutation argument. This argument revolves around false beliefs. People believe in false beliefs, but if not all beliefs are true then there are false beliefs. If all beliefs are true then there is false beliefs, but there are not all beliefs are true then there are false beliefs. Socrates questions Protagoras’ own commitment to relativism and within his own framework of a relativist. For his argument, Socrates also states if you believe in something to be the case and thousands disagree with you about that particular thing, then the thing is true for you and then false for everyone else. In this argument, Socrate concluded that if knowledge equals perception that there is a notion of false beliefs because with true beliefs comes false beliefs. Also, just because one believes something, doesn’t mean everyone else should believe it. Socrates then speaks about the knowledge of true judgement. Theatetus agrues that this is true because knowledge is free from making all mistakes. To this statement, Socrates uses the example of the law courts and the purpose of the jury and how they have to be persuaded by the lawyer’s arguments. Persuation and knowing the truth are two different aspects according to Socrates. Theatetus explains that he hopes that the lawyer would be able to persuade the jury to the truth, but Socrates is unsatified because the jury would not be able to have true judgement because they don’t have true knowledge. Socrates then confirms that knowledge and true knowledge must be two different things. After being able to distingish the difference between knowledge and having true judgement, Thetetus makes the claim that true judgement with an account can be considered knowledge. Things without the account are the “unknown” because they don’t have the knowledge and the things that have the account are considered “knowable”. Socrates recalls a dream where he heard people discussing primary elements. These elements cannot be considered existing or not because by adding being or non-being to it, would make it complex. Since the primary elements are accountable and unknowable but are percievable, the complexes are knowable so the object of “true judgements”. In conclusion, it would very difficult to portray arguments to the theory of knowledge when left in this doubt if any of the arguments are actually true. The Theory of Knowledge that is absent of the Forms would fail for many reasons. In the Theaetetus, it is quite evident that without the Forms it was difficult to interpert arugments for knowledge. The forms of knowledge serve as roles of human cognition, communication and cooperation. The theory of Knowledge is describe in different ways of knowing. There is no knowledge without Forms. The point is not to give the definition of knowledge, but to define knowledge as a “justifed true belief”. When Socrates argues that knowledge doesn’t equal perception, it is The Parmenides reveals the shortcomings of the Theory of Forms in many ways. Socrates has made the distincition between Forms and sensibles and Parmenides challenges the Theory of the Forms with 5 arguements. The first argument states that if things partake in the Form of Beauty, Likeness or Largeness then the things themselves become beautiful, like or large. Parmenides states that many things can be considered in a single Form. The Form itself is present in all the things no matter how you break them up, the Form still exists. The example that is used that it would different if a single sail covered a number of people compared to different parts of the sail touching each individual. This is considered one shortcoming because Parmenides explains that the Form can be present in many things at the same time whereas Socrates claims that each individual thing has its own form. It has come apparent to Socrates that there is a possiblity that the Form can be presented in many instances, but the whole is also present. The second argument states that the existance of a single form can be used as something all the things share. In the series of large, x,y,z, Largeness itself is considered to be large and if all members partake in the single form, then there must be another form of Largeness where both form of Large partake in the third form of Large. This means that there is not one Form is every case, but multiple forms throughout them all. This is also a similar argument to the first, but Parmenides states that each form of Large or Beauty etc, if there are mulitiple of those things then there are pieces of that one Form in all of them including the one from each of the ones before them. In the third argument, Parmendias discusses the soul and suggests that each Form is a thought existing in the soul in order to maintain the unity in the soul. He also suggests that when a thought is made it must be of something that is a Form in order to be considered a thought. We must also explain the relation of how it is a thought and relates to the Form. If things share in Forms, but nothing else but thoughts then neither of things consists of thoughts and think. Then they can be considered thoughts but cannot be considered think. In this argument it is clear that the Forms and thoughts exist in the same relam and the Form is what creates the thought in the first place. In the fourth argument, Socrates brings the suggestions that the Forms are patterns in nature of which there are copies and likeness of these things and Forms throughout nature. Socrates also says that a lot of things are copies of each other when in relality they are the same thing, so how they can have mulitple forms if they are the same thing? Parmenides challenges that and states that the copies or instances are like the Forms and the Forms are like the instances. But if the things are Like in the first place then they become alike by particpating in Likeness. He then proves the point from the first argument in stating that Likeness is like Likeness. This argument challenges Socrates when he states that there are copies of many things in the world and Parmedias states again that Likeness is equal to concerte things and in the many instances that things are the same, they are like the Forms in their own instances. Finally, the last argument Parmedias brings forth an argument that seperates existance from the Forms. He states that things in our world are related among each other, but are not related to the Forms. Parmedias uses the example of the relation between a master and its slave. He claims that no master is the master of slave itself but is the master of his own slave not of the noun of slavery. He relates this to knowledge we gain is for respect of our world and not to the world of the Forms. Ideal knowledge is the knowledge used in the world of Forms and not in our own world.