Plato 's Theory Of Forms

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Essay 1: Give a careful account of Plato’s theory of Forms as presented in the Phaedo. Plato has an idea that all ideas are merely abstract thoughts, and what we perceive with our senses is actually an imperfect version of these abstract thoughts. This is the basic idea of Plato’s theory of the Forms. To best illustrate the theory of the Forms to others, Plato explains his famous Allegory of the Cave. From the groundwork of the Forms, Plato goes on in Phaedo to argue the immortality of the soul. He intertwines the theory of the Forms with his argument of recollection, and his argument of affinity. In Plato’s allegory of a cave, Plato paints a picture which he uses to help explain his theory of Forms. In the cave, there are prisoners who are locked up and facing a wall. There is a light source (assumed to be a fire or the sun) behind puppets or statues. The positioning of the light source casts a shadow of the puppets on the wall. So, the prisoners can only see the shadows their whole lives. There are also puppeteers moving the puppets around. Behind the prisoners is a an open doorway, leading out of the cave. In this allegory, the puppets or statues represent the non sensuous realm, or the realm of Forms and ideas. The shadows the prisoners see is the realm of the sensuous, or what we see in everyday life. The prisoners represent us, the human condition. We are imprisoned into seeing only a shadow of what is really there. The puppeteers are politicians, or the soffits.
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