Plato's Theory Of Form

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Explain Plato’s theory of forms. What is the function of the forms in relation to platonic metaphysics? What is the relation between the sensible and the intelligible? To begin I would like to firstly establish Plato’s theory of forms, which, is inextricably linked with his metaphysical theory and Platonic Dualism, (intelligible world and sensible world). Plato can be regarded as the first ever Metaphysician, as Plato is searching for the true nature of being, and believed that the world in which we live, which is the world interpreted through the senses (the material world), that is forever changing, is just an imitation of the true world, the world of ideas, that is eternal unchanging and immaterial.
Plato believed that the form of an object
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In this allegory between Socrates and his brother Glaucon, we are invited to imagine prisoners in a cave, chained to the wall, imprisoned in the cave since childhood in a particular manner that can only see the wall on the opposite side of the cave. What lies behind them is a fire that lights the cave and in between where the prisoners are and the fire, is a path where to the edge there is a second wall. This wall is like a screen used in a puppet shows, and the puppets are raised dangled over it and are of various objects such as animals, and the people that are holding these puppet like objects are talking .This second wall acts as a screen between the prisoners and the people holding the puppets, and the prisoners as a result can only see the projected shadows of these puppets as they look to the wall across from them. (B.C.Burt…show more content…
A prisoner who escaped captivity from the cave, Plato believed, would slowly start to realise that he was subject to an artificial reality and would start to see the true reality, and the different levels of reality. As he walked out through the cave he would see that the shadows were only projections of the true object cast by the light of the fire. He would then see natural light and realise the light from the fire was also artificial, and he would discover reflections if he looked into a body of water, and then he would see real objects. Finally he would see the sun and make the deduction that it is the ultimate natural source of light. This process of walking out of the darkness and the shadows into the light is a metaphor for one’s path to enlightenment, which can be attempted through philosophy, as a philosopher does not merely rely on the senses seeking knowledge and truth. There are other metaphors which can be extrapolated from the story as the shadows of the cave represent the objects in the world of the senses and how they are not the true essence of the idea of the object casting the shadow but merely imitations. The same type of metaphor is used with comparing the light that emanates from the fire, being an inferior representation of the light of the sun. (B.C.Burt
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