Plato 's Theory Of Forms

1629 Words Oct 6th, 2015 7 Pages
In Platonism, few philosophical theories are as essential as the theory of Forms. This is besides the fact that it is generally overlooked in many of Plato’s writings even though it lays the foundations to many other theories of his. The Republic is where the theory is first mentioned, followed by discussion in Phaedo and criticized in Parmenides and Timaeus thereafter. (These works will be further discussed later throughout the essay.) Plato’s theory of Forms, (sometimes referred to as the theory of Ideas) states basically: that which is made of matter and can be physically perceived by a human through one of his five senses does not represent true reality. The realm of ideas and abstract thought is in fact the ideal representation of reality. (When used in this manner, the first letter of form is usually capitalized). The aim of this essay is to identify “What is a Form?” and “What are the critiques of Plato’s theory of Forms?”
According to the theory, a Form is technically bound to nor space or time. A Form does not exist as a material object and therefore cannot exist in three dimensional space. Because this is true of a Form, it consequently can neither exist at any particular given point in time. In truth, Forms can only be sensed by the intellect, but they are not bound to the confines of one’s mind. Forms exist outside of the mind itself. Occasionally referred to as “Ideas”, Plato’s original term in Greek for Form was ‘eidos’.
As stated earlier, Forms do not depend…
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