Plato Essay

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1. a) Explain how Plato’s epistemological assumptions shape his metaphysics (Why does he think that there must be Forms? Hint: Plato says (in effect): “Since knowledge is certain, therefore the objects of knowledge must be unchanging.”).
b) Define Plato’s Forms and present the theory of Forms by explaining the “divided line.” (You can use the visual image, but explain it.)

Plato was extremely devoted in answering the sophists’ skepticism about reason and morality. To do so, he spent more time than any philosopher before him studying knowledge, or epistemology. He realized that to answer the sophists’ skepticism he had to first solve the three main problems that earlier philosophers had left behind; the problems of change, the
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Plato’s theory of Forms led him to many assumptions, one of the most important of which is his view on the form of “man” and his relation to the state. He understood that no one man has ever been perfect and that each man participates in the form “man” to different degrees. Individual men are adequate copies of the true form of “man”. Plato believed that the men who participate in the form more fully are going to more real, and therefore better, then the men who participate less. This is better explained by his philosophy of the nature of man and his analogous relationship to the state. Plato recognized the nature of man as a psyche, or soul, that was grouped into three main parts. Each of these three parts have motions proper to them that he believed, if harmonized, would lead to eudaimonia, a total well-being. The first, and lowest, part of the soul he called the appetites. The highest part Plato called reason. The third part, between appetite and reason, he called spirit. He saw the state as having three main parts as well, each corresponding to one of the three parts of the human psyche. Every state needs a governing body, whether kings or congress, so this will be the first part. The second is reserved for the essential producing class, which includes merchants, industrial workers, agriculturists, and so on. Third, Plato held that every state needs a group, between the governing and producing classes, to maintain

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